Jerry Misko’s 2D paintings fill BlankSpace

Guests speak with artist Jerry Misko inside BlankSpace during The Las Vegas art and design scene looked to the light recently — to neon light, that is.Last Friday, the monthly “Mojitos & Modernism” event at BlankSpace in Mandalay Place featured a reception for local artist Jerry Misko.

“Mojitos & Modernism” is held at the design store on the last Friday of each month. It’s an evening of artists meeting with the public amidst BlankSpace’s tableau of art and design items, complimentary mojitos and a fantastic cheese spread.

According to Sandra Sharma, BlankSpace buyer and general manager, “Mojitos & Modernism” is growing in popularity and attendance.

“More and more people are getting to know about it … new people who haven’t been to it before,” Sharma said.

According to Sharma, Las Vegans are excited to learn that there is an organized, regularly-held event at Blank Space.

“They’re really excited that were doing events,” Sharma said.

Kelly Scherbenski, also of Blank Space, added that the event is getting traction in some circles.

“It’s becoming known as the ‘Fourth Friday’ of the month,” Scherbenski said in reference to Downtown Las Vegas’ “First Friday” celebration.

And while previous “Mojitos & Modernism” events have brought in national and international guests, featuring native Las Vegan Misko made perfect sense for Sharma.

“He is well-known for his paintings of iconic signs,” she said. “I think his paintings are a lot of fun. They’re really representative of Vegas.”

At the event, Misko met with a healthy crowd of a few dozen during the event.

According to Misko, his brightly-colored paintings of signs developed from his earlier career. “I spent a lot of years doing graphic design,” he said.

This makes for an all-up-front quality to Misko’s paintings. There is little depth of perspective in his paintings. The haloes around signs, which might be seen in real-time vision as curves and outward arcs, are rendered by Misko all on the same plane.

“When I make my paintings, I have this in the back of my head — my formative years — doing 2D things,” Misko said. “Very flat, high tolerance in color separation.”

Misko doesn’t favor an infinite point in his paintings, a source of distance and a perceived third dimension.

“Process-wise, that’s how I want it to look,” Misko said. “They’re supposed to be flat… about light.”

Misko’s paintings, such as the ones featured at the “Mojitos & Modernism” September event, are 100 percent Las Vegas.

“These things started as coming out of casinos after partying — light and signs,” Misko said, referring to his youthful apprenticeship in artistic observation.

“I use the reference all the time — Monet painted water lilies because they were there, I paint signs because they’re here. I love ’em.”

“The paintings are like me. They’re big, they’re pretty and they’re smarter than they look,” Misko said, laughing.

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