Jason Woods exhibition review by Atlas Brown
Jason Woods is no stranger to the concept of documentation. Through photography, he takes snapshots of humanity and records its effects with a click of a button. Since the early ‘90s, Woods has been collecting, documenting, studying and making a name for his artistry. Doubling as one of the hottest DJ’s in Houston, Woods is even more fascinating when he spins tracks from the past and future. Fast-forward to today, the multifaceted artist is a force to be reckoned. His latest photo exhibition, Surrounded by Giants, recently debuted at the Community Artist’s Collective. Born and raised in Houston, Woods developed his love for photography at Jakes Yates High School. Upon graduation, he knew that photography and spinning records would be the food that keeps him alive, so he earned a degree in photography from Sam Houston University.
Having been in the photography business for 10 years, the laid-back Houstonian said candidly, “Photos always spoke the most to me.”
To that end, Woods’ alter ego even has a name—Flash Gordon Parks—a name given to him by his good friend, Eric “Equality” Blaylock.
In 2004, Woods and Blaylock stumbled on an opportunity to collaborate on a photo-poetry exhibition called, The Beautiful Side of Ugly. The exhibit depicted the realities of urban areas in Houston, featuring images by Woods, words by Blaylock, and included a commemorative book.
Through his work, Woods passionately captures and documents dynamic images in the city of Houston and beyond.
“Houston is layered and can fool you,” said Woods. “There are so many different dimensions that are unique and interesting. The people are genuine and have a southern feel. The city is a big enough metropolis that is fast and slow—just what you need. When I take pictures, I look for the subtlety in things that we commonly see and overlook and try to capture an understanding on a new level.”
His latest project, Surrounded by Giants, was commissioned this month to exhibit at the Community Artists’ Collective. The show is a tribute to the diminutive details that shape the African American community and exposes bigger meanings within the culture.
Through this exhibit, Woods felt moved to shoot cultural nuisances and extract the microcosms of life through the lens of his camera. Surrounded by Giants is an 18-piece photographic documentary featuring work from Houston and New Orleans.
Also a record collector, Woods is the founder of Straight No Chaser and Easin’ IN— two monthly music series. It is through record collecting that Woods studies music then translates his own ideas and concepts that emerges in the raw when he’s deejaying.
“The true art of a DJ is by knowing all genres of music. You have to be a student first,” said Woods.
With all of the hats that Woods is wearing at 32 years old, Jason Woods is a modern day Renaissance man.
He begs to differ.
“I don’t like to box myself in to that scenario,” said Woods. “Life is not hard at all. I am original because I am me. I want to do what I want to do and not be confined by anything,” he said.
By Atlas Brown Editor @ The Cultural Weekly