The drive to create is inescapable. I'm only happy when I'm actively engaged in making something.
Some of my earliest memories are of taking things apart, usually in such a way that they could not be put back together again. How things are put together - how they work - was a secret that I had to unravel. As Arthur C. Clark said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." I wanted to learn the secret.
Trying to discover how things work was eventually followed by trying to find out why things work - including human and social factors like behavior and economics. Using the rigorous analytical methods of my industrial design training I tried to figure out why things don't work. As such I’ve been called cynical, but only by those who lack the power of accurate observation. I prefer to think of myself as a cynical optimist: my cup is half full of shit.
That some of my work is displayed upside down is simply a reflection of my world view. Art - long before even the capital A Art of the Renaissance - has been driven not by creative vision but by commerce and as such is a near-perfect reflection of society. I once showed in a gallery where the dealer didn't know who Claes Oldenburg is.
I blame Warhol ("Art is what you can get away with.") although he clearly wasn't the first. Andy just took the anti-art of Dada to The Factory floor. Some find notoriety by being the first to exploit some tiny previously unexplored niche, some find it by being outrageous in some way. Others capitalize on marketing - for which the outrageous is a perfect vehicle. I do not consider this to be either art or success.
This becomes my point of departure. My work contemplates the relationship between artist, medium and product – and thus the very nature of art itself. It is a parody of parodies, which of course makes it a tribute as well, with no small irony.
B.F.A Industrial Design
Rhode Island School of Design 1980
Raised in my father's architectural office from an early age, I worked both drafting tables and construction sites as a youth.
After studying industrial design at RISD I returned to Bridgehampton to work with my father, Norman Jaffe. By the mid 1980’s I was designing and building my own architectural and furniture projects while continuing to consult with my father on projects ranging from homes and high-rises to the award-winning Gates of the Grove Synagogue in East Hampton, New York, a pilgrimage for connoisseurs and students alike.
After my father´s death I spent several years as an apprentice in traditional Japanese construction under Master Builder Jokan Ohama. Along with Jokan, I've been quite fortunate to have had a variety of adept (and exceedibly patient) mentors including Ken Hunnibell (Professor of Industrial Design and master of the RISD Machine Research Lab), renaissance man and artist Warren Padula, and of course my father - a demanding master if ever there was one.
I specialize in the design and execution of a wide range of creative projects ranging from art and architecture to furniture and new media. A literary project that I created - The Hamptons Dictionary - has been published in multiple editions and featured in global media including BBC World News.
WINNER The 7th Annual Hamptons Juried Art Show
Benefit for The Retreat, RJD Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY
AWARD OF MERIT The American Institute of Architects
Gates of the Grove Synagogue, East Hampton, NY
CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE IN DESIGN The New York State Association of Architects
Gates of the Grove Synagogue, East Hampton, NY
HONORABLE MENTION The Architecture Society of Atlanta
Competition: Public Space in the New City
Springs Invitational, East Hampton NY
Vered Gallery, East Hampton, NY
RJD Gallery, Sag Harbor NY
Chase Edwards Gallery, Bridgehampton NY
Guild Hall, East Hampton NY
AE Gallery, East Hampton NY
Corcoran Gallery, Sag Harbor NY
Elaine Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton NY
Bridgehampton Historical Society, Bridgehampton NY
Hampton Day School Benefit, Bridgehampton NY
East End Arts Council Invitational, Riverhead NY
Color Fields Benefit, Bridgehampton NY
World Wide Web Exhibit: Nuke the Hamptons
Conservatory of Dance Arts, Bridgehampton NY
World Wide Web Exhibit: The Ritual Objects of Cosmology
Sara Nightingale Gallery, Watermill NY
Discovery of Self, Sag Harbor Express, 12 May 2016
Providing Hope, American Art Collector, May 2016
Lifestyles of the HAMPTONS RICH and (IN)FAMOUS, BBC World News, 16 July 2008
Jitney Can't Take A Joke, Page Six, New York Post, 2 July 2008
Everything To Be 'Hample' in The Hamptons This Summer, New York Observer, 23 May 2008
Hangin' In The Hamptons, Newsday, 20 May 2008
Deeds & Don’ts, Hamptons Cottage and Gardens, 15 July 2007
Hamptons Redefined, Newsday, 2 August 2007
Slam Hamptons, New York Post, 1 July 2007
Explosive, Hamptons Magazine, 29 June 2007
Do You Speak Hamptonese, Dan’s Papers, 4 July 2007
New Lexicon Skewers The Hamptons Lifestyle, The Southampton Press, 7 June 2007
The Hamptons Dictionary, East Hampton Star, 6 June 2007
A Devil's Dictionary for the Hamptons, Sag Harbor Express, 31 May 2007
The End of the Hamptons, Corey Dolgon, New York University Press, 2005
Guilty Pleasures, New York Magazine, 2001
Bomb the Base, Financial Times (London), 23 June 2001
Hot Summer, W Magazine, June 2001
Rebel in Paradise, New York Observer, 28 May 2001
Hamptons Road Warriors Get a War Game, Newsday, 16 June 2001