Our hero JIMP wanders onto the set of a B-movie horror flick only to have an accidental assignation with George Orwell chatting like Beuys to a coyote with the ears of a hare. His Pinocchio nose and donkeys tail grows, as the anthropomorphic principal shifts into reverse gear. Played out in the dystopian social order of JIMPs ribald imagination, is the existential angst of the common people, living lives they don’t understand.
The thin veneer of civilisation covering the troglodyte rawness of our baser-selves is stripped away by his understated drawings. The cave of the gallery daubed with paper graffiti like the crude confident drawings of the ancients.
The hunter-gatherer in the book-keeping clerk, appearing like Mr Hyde, his drawings reveal some of the oxymoron’s in the life of an average contemporary traveller. The surreal moments in these humble scribings depict some of the true harshness, brutality, sometimes beauty and inexorable randomness of existence. The quiet comedy in the low-fi production, taps directly into our juvenile selves, exposing us to the emotions & curiosity of our adolescence. The jokes are multilayered and droll, as the banker and the vicar revealed in their gauche awkwardness, stumble in emotional confusion, threatened by their imaginary ancestors, humiliated by their descendants. The artist shines a spotlight into the anonymous seething masses: each individual struggling with his own self-consciousness – a kind of exorcism, open, spontaneous, bloody and raw.
Outsider art, disenfranchised from the adolescent bedroom, sci-fi bookcover or record sleeve, and floating in on the artworld like a breeze from an open window, JIMP is free to question our belief in fate, religion and the iprison (sic) of taste and manners. Liberating the viewer to remember the imagination, fears and horrors of adolescence, purging our psyche of suppressed and denied feelings, whilst delivering an unwitting smile. The pleading, engaging characters trapped in their cartoon frieze gaze out at the audience soliciting empathy. We are all there captured in his world view, the wise and the frail, the social bully and the outcast, caught with our pants down in front of the crowd.
JIMP is the penname of Jim Hollingworth. His work can be seen in international collections, live performances and doodled on the back of telephone directories. He is an unstoppable recorder of our times.
By Deborah Curtis