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Don Jacot, known for color-rich, hyper-detailed paintings of historic urban landscapes and vintage objects, was a major figure in the second generation of Photorealist artists.  A native of Chicago, Jacot’s early work of the 1980s was influenced by the impressive urban landscape of his city, often featuring industrial settings such as factory buildings and elevated train platforms.  These strong compositional elements in concrete and steel were further impressed upon the young artist by urban realist masters Charles Sheeler and Walker Evans, whom he viewed at the Detroit Institute of Art as a student.

As his work evolved in the 1990s, Jacot often portrayed dense displays of urban shop windows, teeming with a variety of eclectic items.  The Artist would photograph actual settings and later reinterpret them into paintings that included only those objects he found of most interest.  His later subjects focused even further to depict vintage toys, either singly or placed into vignettes composed of pairs and small groupings.

Commenting on these works, Don Jacot said, “By complement and by contrast I combine things from different eras, objects with similar functions or with nostalgic, humorous, or symbolic value, and thereby reflect the culture around me.  Beyond that I want to share my fascination with the forms of the things themselves, their colors and surfaces, and their appearances under different lighting, angles, or lens lengths.”

In his final series, Jacot returned to the urban landscape as his inspiration, using vintage photographs as source material.  His paintings often portrayed scenes of New York City during the 1930s and 40s, revisiting the glamour and glory of Broadway and Times Square.  His work was enriched greatly with the amount of historic research that Jacot would undergo, such as creating three-dimensional paper maquettes of buildings and signage that he would light before undergoing the act of painting.

Don Jacot was born in Chicago and grew up in Downers Grove, IL. After attending Augustana College, he completed a B.A. at the University of IL, Champaign and later received a B.S. from Mercy College of Detroit after serving in the Naval Air Reserve as a medic.  Works by Jacot were included in numerous museum exhibitions during his lifetime and are represented in prominent public collections in Detroit, including The First State Bank of East Detroit, Ameritech Corporation, Michigan Bell Telephone, Masco Corporation, PVS Chemical Corporation, as well as The Seavest Collection in New York State.  Don Jacot moved to San Francisco in the late 1980s, where he lived and worked until his passing on August 26, 2021.

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