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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.jasongogo.com for more information.