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Life Throbbibg & Eloquent on Jacob Dhein’s Canvas

Excerpt from an interview between Jacob Dhein and Lucky Compiler:

Where Fortunes are Made, The Pattern Maker, and Central Market Deli are Jacob Dhein’s visual portrayals directly lifted from the pages of the greatest book ever written, The Omnibus of Life. He even includes himself in this exhaustive series, The Artist and the Model. By empathetically portraying the everyday lives of artists, craftsmen and workmen Jacob Dhein not only proves himself capable of creating a masterful composition but also showcases that emotional sensibility which underlies any great work of art. By making the verve, vitality and woes of common men’s lives his subject he also queued himself up behind a long and illustrious line of artists that consists such names as Giovanni Battista Moroni, Adriaen van Ostade, Jan Steen, Jean–François Millet and Camille Pissaro.


Tell us of the childhood influences at home and in your immediate environment which helped in grooming the artist and human being that you have grown up to become.

My family is my biggest Childhood influence. My father helped me draw at a very early age. I remember having a fascination with dinosaurs and prehistoric animals. My dad helped me transfer the pictures to paper so I could enlarge and colour them. My aunt was another big factor. When visiting my aunt and uncle in San Francisco for the summers they enrolled me in art classes at the museum. My grandmother and great aunt were painters. Seeing their paintings hanging on the walls of my house and my extended family’s homes also help me develop a love for the textures and colours of oil paint. I remember being amazed as a small child and touched the paintings to feel the textures of the impasto paint. Lastly, my biggest supporter is my mother who always pushed me to pursue a direction in art by constantly encouraging me and buying me art books throughout my life.


You seem to be fascinated with craftsmen or women busy at their work in rapt attention. How were you first drawn to this subject? Is there any learning from exploring this topic and also by watching others intently busy with the work at the hand?

Growing up around artist and craftsmen is the underlying inspiration and fascination of this subject matter. Initially, I did not think about why this subject matter interested me so much. A couple of years ago, whenever I walked down Haight Street in San Francisco, I always glanced into a doorway of a shoe repair shop and thought to myself that this would make an incredible painting. After numerous times of seeing this little shoe repair shop I decided to talk with the proprietor about doing a painting of him. So after receiving his permission, I worked with the gentleman and did my first artisan and craftsmen painting Haight Street Shoe Repair.


I don’t know if there is learning on a technicality standpoint from watching others busy at their craft, but there is inspiration seeing that others work so diligently at their jobs even though they may not be making a large salary. It is great to see people who love what they do even though there is a struggle sometimes to stay afloat in a society where technological advances in industry allow machines to mass produce products and goods at a much lower cost. For example with the shoe repair man some people I am sure find it easier to buy a new pair of shoes or boots rather than making the effort to have them fixed.