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Jumper Maybach recently unveiled a timely new series of works celebrating gay Pride titled The Pride Collection: INTROSPECTION. The collection will be on exhibition and available for acquisition at several galleries throughout the country beginning June 1, with its debut at the artist’s gallery in Houston.
The works were created by Jumper to show his love and support for the LGBT community in addition to all those taking part in the #MeToo movement.
“This series of works is one of the most engaging and important of my entire career,” says Jumper Maybach. “I wanted to create something to show my ongoing love and support for my community, as well as the courageous men and women partaking in the #MeToo movement.”
Jumper Maybach was a victim of sexual harassment and the subject of a documentary about his life and experience called The Jumper Maybach Story. “As a victim of workplace sexual discrimination, I felt it was my duty to stand up and express myself at this pivotal time in history. I want my art to be that beacon of hope that inspires others to stand up to ending injustice within society,” he says.
This negative experience helped create Jumper Maybach, who was born Ben Workman in 1963. “This is the part where a lot of people wrote me off as crazy,” he jokes. “I was being sexually harassed at work and was at a really low point in my life. One afternoon I went into a deep meditative prayer, and that’s when what I call a ‘spark’ rushed into me that raised up Jumper. I truly believe God was talking to me and directing me in the mission through my art. I never painted before that spark.”
Jumper Maybach believes it’s trauma that defines an individual. He releases his joys and pain into the art, becoming the storyteller of the creations. His techniques are self-taught through intense experimentation, leading to an end result that is truly unique and representative of him as an artist. It’s about understanding love, peace and the transformation of an individual.
“Please forgive me if I talk about Jumper as a separate entity within me, but that is the case. I have learned to accept the ridicule from almost everyone,” he says. “When Jumper began his painting, it began from a vision which he titled ‘Alien in the Box.’ It was a story of Jumper in the circus helping children understand they are loved unconditionally.” Jumper’s painting evolved rapidly from childlike to the amazing abstracts he is known for today.
Not long after Jumper began his career as an artist, he started to receive national and international recognition for his work. In 2013 he held his first gallery show, which ultimately led to an exhibition at Art Dubai. It was there that he received a documentary film deal and was dubbed “The Jackson Pollock of the 21st century.”
“I was told by the Minister of Arts and Culture, ‘You’re the 21st Century Jackson Pollock with a lot of color.’ I was intrigued by the statement and a friend gave me a copy of Pollock’s documentary when I returned home. I viewed the film and was amazed at Pollock’s talents. I’m honored to be compared to Pollock,” says Jumper Maybach.
He believes one of the largest challenges facing the LGBTQ community is the community itself.
“We can’t fight intolerance and bullying when we play along with the bigots. I know so many LGBTQ friends who are out in our ‘safe’ community but at their workplace they play ‘straight,'” he says. “This is a cause for alarm. When you can’t live a free, healthy life at work, then you’re in an unsafe work environment.”
He also offers words of encouragement to other developing artists.
“LGBTQ artists should be free to be themselves,” Jumper Maybach says. “Art is a very personal experience. A great artist knows why they create their art. Sometimes the art is created from severe personal pain, and at other times it could be happiness. I would urge artists to reach deep within and discover that reason. If they can’t discover that reason, their art will never make it to greatness. Art is not easy. It’s a gift from your soul.”
Featured photo of Jumper Maybach by Alan De Herrera