Jon makes beautiful drawings. You can see one of these in a show called (Un) Natural Selection at PIEROGI in Williamsburg. If you like this one, try to get the gallery attendants to show you the other two they have hidden away.
We met up in Williamsburg to talk about his work………..
Andrew: Tell me something about your creative process in regards to the bird series...
Jon: I usually start with an image or photo that I like, a particular image that resonates, and I paint in the head. Not copying really, just using the photo as a starting point. After a bit I put the photo away and I have a portrait sitting there and I have to figure out what to do with it…I have to figure out how to translate the things I’m thinking about into this bird. I’m into the fundamental tales, Good vs. Evil …I’m trying to create metaphors about the thirteen families who rule the world.
There are thirteen families who rule the world?
Well, thirteen families who are the majority stockholders, I think this is the more appropriate term….
And what about your piece in the PIEROGI show, specifically?
It’s called “Jesuit Hornbill.” It refers to the Jesuit order, which acted as enforcers for the Catholic Church to ensure its global dominance. Its an intuitive melding of information I have been learning, that combined with a very personal inner dialogue. This piece is inspired by the Blyth’s Hornbill, which is found in . It reminded me of children’s book illustrations of dinosaurs. So then it became a process of thinking about the prehistoric world…. indigenous cultures and shamanistic cultures. Normally when someone thinks of this they associate these vanishing cultures with the dwindling untouched places in the world. Instead of using the Hornbill as an idealistic symbol of a foregone ancient world, I turned it into a Jesuit priest…. an agent of a church notorious for its violent indoctrinations of cultures around the world. So it becomes a perverted mutation, the creation of a world gone crazy…
What other artists are you into right now?
Ben Blatt…He was in a group show at Bellwether in Chelsea and his work blew me away…
But really, I’m not a big art person; I’m more into fringe politics…. I’m not into the world of it, not into the parties, not into trying to meet people to sell my work…. Is this bad?
Maybe in a capitalistic sense…
My favorite living artist right now is R. Crumb. I’m also into Alex Jones at infowars.com; he doesn’t call himself an artist though…he has a radio show on six days a week. I got my education about what really happened on 911 from him, I totally believe a criminal element in our government………………………….
Are you able to paint every day?
No…I want it to come when it comes…. I’m not one of those artists who just go to the studio…. I’m very sporadic when I work.
I draw a lot; I keep journals and sketchbooks all the time. I study the content of what drives my work every day.
Wait, you should include this quote…My roommate, Antoine Charvet is my personal new world order coach, he says “The car is going over the cliff are we’re arguing over which radio station to listen to.”……………..
Jon’s work will be up at PIEROGI as part of the (Un)Natural Selection show through July 30. You can see more of his work at www.jonallenart.com.
Andrew M. Simmons was born in 1978 in Cincinnati Ohio. His youth was spent there. Mr. Simmons Attended the Ohio State University earning a BFA in 2001. He spent some time in the Appalachians of Tennessee before moving to Jersey City in 2002. The Heights of Jersey City have been his home ever since. firstname.lastname@example.org
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