Collection: Jake Hout

Jake Hout is an Oakland-based Artist and Musician active since the late 1980s. He grew up in the Punk Rock scene most associated to the music venue Gilman St Project in Berkeley Ca drawing cartoons, gig fliers, logos for bands and for fan zines as well as playing in some local teenage bands.

He studied painting at California College of Arts and Crafts under tutelage from Raymond Saunders, Franklin Williams, Ken Regnal and others from ‘93 to ‘95. He then moved to Brooklyn New York and was active in the burgeoning Williamsburg art scene making assemblage works using primarily objects found in crumbling industrial neighborhoods around New York.

Returning to Oakland in 2000 he started the Punk Rock Band Everything Must Go. At this time he found an artist patron in collector Pete Palmer and worked several years making art in a series called “Distortions.” Taking images from photos magazines and other varied sources and dragging them across moving scanners and other experimental techniques of digital manipulation. These works were exhibited extensively in the San Francisco/Oakland art scene as well as New York, Atlanta, and Bremen Germany. The work was regularly included in the very first “art murmur” city wide exhibitions that would eventually evolve to become the First Friday art walk all across the San Francisco Bay Area. In this period the band Everything Must Go was touring regularly in Europe and the United States.

Starting around 2007 he began work on his Propaganda series. In which propaganda slogans, mostly anti American Imperialist, taken from state propaganda images of North Korea, The Soviet Union, and China are re-contextualized with various images mostly alluding to western popular culture. The work makes a point of the fluidity of language and ideas within changing cultural contexts. The series was launched with a successful solo exhibition in New York and shown often in the San Francisco Bay Area and various exhibitions around the United States and Europe.

In the early 20 teens Everthing Must Go disbanded and Jake went on to form punk band The Divvys and was brought on as singer for the formative 1980s Deathrock band Altar De Fey in their new incarnation.

At this same time somewhat by chance he was commissioned to paint a velvet portrait of David Bowie. The painting though in a private collection was seen by many people and before long commissions for velvet portraits were flowing in at a regular rate. This was an interesting new way of functioning for the artist, simply providing a regular service. There was no need to invent an image the patron would provide it, or stand for a very simple portrait right on the spot and the artist would create for them an affordable painting. Sometimes taking design elements and ideas came up with by patrons and making use of them again in later works, it was a community idea and effort that came about quite naturally and is unique in the artists oeuvre in this way.

At the same time he developed a technique of drawing images in negative with mechanical pencil. The images are then scanned and inverted creating a unique ghostly effect. These images have been used as Altar De Fey’s signature graphic motif and have also been used by other bands in the contemporary Deathrock scene.

In 2017 Jake was hired as the singer for the reformation of the classic 1977 punk rock band Dead Boys and began touring globally and very extensively with both Dead Boys and Altar De Fey through 2019. Both bands have resumed touring as the pandemic recedes with more dates currently booked in the U.S, Mexico and Australia, and both bands are currently in the recording studio working on new material.

All through this time he continues to work commissioned portraiture, and figurative in both acrylic on velvet and oil on canvas.

This show launches a new series of oil paintings entitled Barokque Ephemera. The paintings are in a self styled neo-baroque, featuring still life images of punk and fetish gear jewelry and fashions. Also on view will be earlier works that correlate with the new series in technique and subject matter. These works will be on display at Fallout Gallery SF 50-A Bannam Pl. North Beach, San Francisco, California March 3rd through 19th 2023