JA­SON GOGO

Where Calgary - - ART GALLERIES + MUSEUMS - —Brian French

I at­tended a lo­cal char­ity event 14 sum­mers ago, which fea­tured the auc­tion of a paint­ing do­nated by a lo­cal artist. This paint­ing was, by all de­scrip­tions, one of the most un­usual pieces of art I had ever seen. I was im­me­di­ately taken aback by it, cap­ti­vated by it, dis­turbed by it, ro­manced by it. I loved it. I hated it. It was, in all man­ners, great art. I bought that paint­ing. It was my first in­tro­duc­tion to or­ganic ex­pres­sion­ism. It was my first Ja­son Gogo.

Ja­son Gogo was born and raised in York­ton, Saskatchewan, the son of a suc­cess­ful artist, Mil­ton John. Art was the fam­ily busi­ness, with no fewer than 11 artists among his clan. Fam­ily din­ner ta­ble con­ver­sa­tions fo­cused more on in­verted per­spec­tives than hockey or base­ball scores. As a child, Gogo would spend hours watch­ing his father paint, trans­fixed by the scents, sounds and sights of art be­ing cre­ated. De­ter­mined to make it on his own, he moved to Cal­gary when he was just 16.

In those early days while pur­su­ing his pas­sion for art, Gogo made ends meet by wait­ing ta­bles. His first suc­cess came when a reg­u­lar cus­tomer asked him to do­nate an art piece for a Cal­gary Progress Club fundraiser. Still an ado­les­cent, Gogo was sur­prised to later learn that his paint­ing fetched a stag­ger­ing $6,500. In­di­rectly, this was his first sale. Gogo has gone on to achieve great suc­cess, in­clud­ing build­ing his own stu­dio in Hol­ly­wood. De­scribed as a mod­ern day Andy Warhol, his art can be found in the homes of fa­mous celebri­ties in­clud­ing Gor­don Ram­say, Ali­son Sweeney, Ice-T, Dwight Yoakam, Tom Sel­leck, and the record­ing stu­dio of the Trag­i­cally Hip. He re­calls, “My early days wait­ing ta­bles in­formed me how to net­work, how to so­cial­ize, how to mar­ket my­self, while at the same time teach­ing me the most im­por­tant art of hu­mil­ity.”

To­day, Gogo is one of Cal­gary’s most im­por­tant artists, and a gen­er­ous phil­an­thropic con­trib­u­tor, hav­ing do­nated over $250,000 to lo­cal char­i­ties. For the first time in its sto­ried history, the Cal­gary Stam­pede had mod­ern art­work fea­tured on a chuck­wagon tarp in its 2017 Ran­ge­land Derby. The paint­ing by Gogo de­picted on the tarp was sub­se­quently do­nated and sold for $15,500 at an auc­tion sup­port­ing lo­cal chil­dren’s char­i­ties.

In Cal­gary, Gogo re­cently opened Blood­line Art Space, a pri­vate artist res­i­dence and gallery that fea­tures se­lect art pieces from his col­lec­tion, plus those of his father and sis­ter. Vis­its are by ap­point­ment only and can be ar­ranged by con­tact­ing info@ja­songogo.com. Visit www.ja­songogo.com for more in­for­ma­tion.

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