Jones is an Atlanta based sculptor predominantly working
in clay. Jones’s work is no-frills and direct, unapologetically
personal. He proudly calls himself an “Emotionalist”.
HEADS OF FAMILY is the artist’s first solo exhibition,
and included are clay busts and a new medium for Jones, paintings.
At first imagining these large-scale un-stretched works on canvas
as merely backdrops for his busts, he soon found these paintings
were necessary counterpoints to the sculptures.
Responding to a period of tremendous loss, these busts are representations
of seven family members, each of them dying within the past
three years. Jones, also a pianist and accomplished songwriter
in several Atlanta based bands, wanted to memorialize these
men by sculpting their essence and showing them to the world
on pedestals, the sculptural version of what he has done for
loved ones through songwriting. He approached each bust very
differently style-wise, and the manner points to the expressive
portraits of George Condo and Andre Ethier. One blocky and almost
cubist, another traditionally sculpted, almost Hellenistic,
and one comically and cartoonishly mustachioed, Jones states,
“these men, although linked by blood, were as different
as you could possibly imagine. It felt vital that I approach
each of them with a divergent methodology, a different poetry.”
He unified this series by painting each of them a flat black
and showing the busts in an almost eerie positioning, with their
heads turned away from the viewer. Jones is trying to capture
that delicate period of time right after a loved one dies. They
are painfully fading into the shadows of the past, yet being
exalted and remembered perhaps more vividly than when they were
Jones’s paintings are a bit more mysterious, hinting at
gravesites and ghosts. All imagery floats on flat black grounds,
colorful and precise rips and tears through the canvas appear
to be rainbow-like connections between earth and heaven. Another
pull towards finding peace with what is now gone. Both fanciful
and sensitive reveries, these paintings fall in a strange space
between somber and euphoric.
Jones lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. He was born
in 1977 in Memphis, Tennessee and graduated with a degree in
Studio Art from Georgia State University. Jones makes a living
playing piano and being a personal chef. Until recently, he
was content quietly making sculptures in his backyard and garage.
Jones is now ready to exhibit his work, and will continue to
labor over a 25-foot tall carved wood sculpture twelve years
in the making entitled “Help Me!”.