NEW JERSEY (Passaic County)
Jesse Clemente is a 33-year-old abstract/neo expressionist from the tri-state area of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania while currently being based out of Passaic County, NJ. As a child and a young teenager growing up in North Jersey, Clemente discovered graffiti and the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat at the age of 13 and started doing his own graffiti by the age of 14. When his mother moved him to Milford, PA at the age of 15, he continued to draw in his sketchbooks and, moving to Scranton on and off from the ages of 19 to 24 gave him the opportunity to practice his craft from the streets to the Greenridge train yards.
He was living with a friend in Port Jervis, NY during the summer of 2013 when a person noticed his artistic talents within his drawings and random paintings on cardboard and slate rock and suggested he turn to painting on canvas instead of worrying about getting in trouble with the law with his illegal works. Clemente soon after took that idea in great stride considering he had failed art classes in elementary to high school and never went to an art college despite having a major interest in it.
Within the next two years, he started exhibiting in the Port Jervis-Milford area and making a big splash in an area known for its oil landscapes and calm settings (which Clemente’s paintings are far from). Into present day, Clemente has exhibited from Soho/Lower East Side in NYC to Stroudsburg and the Scranton, PA area to Sussex County, NJ with a mural he completed in winter 2014. His work is now in private collections ranging from San Francisco, California to Chicago, Illinois; all up and down the East Coast (including Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont); and one or two in London, England as well.
He lists Harmony Korine, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Franz Kline, Jack Kerouac, Jim Carroll, Matthew Wong, Jim Morrison, and Jackson Pollock as his main artistic influences and, when asked about what his art means, he simply responds, “All you have to do is look at it and you’ll get it. Art isn’t about fully grasping the visual image but the emotional passion and connection behind it.”