Highlights from It Was a Very Simple World


Sean Jantzi’s rhythms find their way through painting pop atmospheres. This is Sean Jantzi’s first solo-exhibition. As a creative his whole life, through drawing, music or photography, Jantzi began painting through the past three years when decorating the walls of his minimalist apartment. As he began sharing his works through social media, curator Paul Becker reached out, expressing his interest in collaborating on an exhibition. 

In 2011, Jantzi’s drumbeats set the pace for indie alternative post rock band the “Oceanographers” who went onto the Meadow Stage at the Squamish Valley Music festival in 2014. Jantzi describes his rhythmic process as a “feeling” that evolves naturally to set the tone of the music. When he speaks of his paintings, he references them in terms of balance and harmony. What forms a leg is comparably a semi-circle, cut like Matisse to create a balance of hard and soft edges. Coalesced with a bright, lively palette, the pieces relay pop rhythms. Shapes and curves take the place of cymbals and snares. As a new medium carries through Jantzi’s innate drumbeat, novel energies and atmospheres are created as an artist. 

The show’s title, It Was a Very Simple World is drawn from Ernest Hemingway’s, “The Garden of Eden”. In a literary style, simple, descriptive and direct, Hemingway writes of a place where happiness is found in the simple pleasures of the couple’s companionship — from the way they take their coffee, or have their eggs for breakfast or the gratification that comes from catching a fish. Before the conflict, outside of worry, Jantzi’s paintings capture moments of simple elation. “This is one of my favourites” Sean says, as he pulls a painting from the stacks, “just two guys watching the sunset”. 

Through bold colour shifts and crisp, clean compositions, Jantzi conveys moments of romance, portraits of pop, and playful renditions of the classic vase. Integrating the viewer into the canvas as lady “Sunbathe” herself, staring at the sun over the sea, through pink shades with a cocktail in hand. Through a flow of moments in paradise, Sean Jantzi’s pop abstractions form valuable reflections of the simple things in life.

by Sarah Keppler