Dorothy Circus Gallery proudly presents the first European solo show by Erik Jones, American artist from St. Petersburg, Florida, who stands out as one of the most innovative and successful painters of the New York hyper-contemporary art scene.
The show created by Jones expressly for Dorothy Circus Gallery features a brand new body of works that, thanks to its vibrant and highly colourful character, is able to put the Italian and European public in touch with the kaleidoscopic New York Art Life.
In Jones’ art, the heightened sense of realism, captured in his female subjects depicted by the artist, is juxtaposed with a structure of elaborated nonrepresentational forms that could be said to mimic geometric high-end fashion. This effect is achieved by using multiple media such as watercolour, coloured pencil, acrylic, water-soluble wax pastel and water-soluble oil applied on paper.
The sweet but determined looks of Jones’ characters emerge from a hurricane of colours, which seem to contrast with the serious and sometimes melancholic looks of these women. While their bodies are often concealed behind the numerous patterns of colours, their eyes always stress their strong presence; the ladies’ looks create a visual connection with the beholders, almost as if inviting them to join their infinite space, where no blank space is allowed. These human beings, depicted as hyper-realistic figurations preciously nestled against geometric motives and original artistic outbursts, seem to live and breathe as symbiotic organisms. Abstract forms become alive by establishing a deep and intricate relationship with the figurative subject, as if the one wore the other, becoming virtually indivisible from one another.
Jones’ portraits are dazzling celebrations of beauty exhibited with elegant bouquets of colour, which dress the figures within through a rediscovered sacredness and romanticism. The body of work may look like a dreamlike parallel universe but, as the artist himself states, his creations are not dreams; they exist in front of the viewer, placed on canvases and paper with skill and thoughtful reverie, as if looking at a real living being.
For his first solo show in Europe, Jones will exhibit more than fifteen artworks that revoke the incredible strength of the most important dripping paintings from the fifties. Erik Jones stands as a unique representative of Pop Surrealism that, while keeping faith to its roots, reaches out to encompass in his works the typical features of abstract art. The figurative never dwells alone in the scene, but it intertwines and melds with the extraordinary colours that fill the space. Jones learned carefully the lessons of past Action Painting masters, such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, but he pushed his art beyond such heritage, in a hyper-contemporary field where figures, geometric and abstract shapes co-exist and create an outstanding collection of artworks.
"The newest collection, In Colour, is a continuation of mixed media exploration. To create these works, many different things are used; from airbrushed watercolors, vinyl adhe-sives, and even ply-wood cutouts. The process begins with watercolor airbrushed onto paper that is mounted to wood panel. The wa-tercolor serves as the primary base color for the figure, which is then rendered (usually in its entirety) using colored pencil and water-soluble wax pastels. The dry mediums are sealed, and then reworked with wet mediums such as acrylic and water-soluble oils. With the help of masking tape, the graphic shapes are created primarily with acrylic and wax pastel. The narrative behind the work is more about challenging the viewer to see beauty in chaos. The figures are used as an aesthetic anchor, holding the viewer’s attention to a recognizable form, while exploring colorful, nonrepresentational abstractions. In a way, the figures make the chaos palette-able. Many of the graphic elements in this current body of work are a slight departure from some of the older work. I wanted the graphic aesthetic to take on digital qualities and appear to be more naive and childlike in the approach. As if an inexperienced, non-artistic person were exploring a digital drawing pro-gram for the first time. The intention is to present ability and craft juxtaposed with chaos and disorder.” (Erik Jones)