Marc Straus’s infamous 3-floor gallery on a Sunday evening launched the showcase of 3 intriguing artists; namely, Jong Oh, Florian Schmidt and Chris Jones, whose precise minimal abstractions employed vinyl acrylic, canvas, wood, cardboard, Plexiglas, thread, chain and metal rods.
Chris Jones’ solo exhibit on the second floor truly struck me, as did his words. Using magazine, book images, digital prints, china marker, bottle, paper bag, book images on board, polymer varnish and mixed media—to uniquely orient space and time, in varying modes—the artist admittedly commented on the dimensionality, depth and illusory aspects of all things. He critiqued culture, constructed imaginary interior landscapes, and commented on the way people interact with images and the environment.
He notes: “The images are from magazines, fashion magazine, books, and National Geographic. With the smaller ones, an image will spark that suggests a kind of secret or little narrative that usually has to do with space or time. I never really know. I never look for a specific narrative; something just sort of suggests itself as I go looking.”
Fortunately, we were able to have a few words with the artist himself.
Farrah: So you’re really commenting on the depth and dimensionality of things, and how things aren’t really as they appear?
Chris Jones: “If you’re thrown off by a piece of work, I always think that’s a way to talk about all those different things that you really want to talk about. It can get political or social at times, but at the same time I am also part of the world, and I have to react to it. It’s a sort of social duty, especially when it comes to capturing those things that are ostensibly pretty, attractive, or that don’t quite sit right. It’s about capturing the intricacy of spaces that get people into the space and thinking or knowing that they’ve seen these images. I like to sneak in an image of war or something.”
F: Yeah, I like that. Interesting, it makes sense.
CJ: “It’s subliminal almost.”
F: It’s not just about seeing what’s on the outside.
CJ: “It’s about sneaking such images back in under the radar, and through a dream-like stream of consciousness as well, that could be completely meaningless. Newspapers draw in particles of all these other worlds…. every single minute of the day, and we don’t really think about that much. It’s about accessing phenomenon that we do daily.”
Decoding perfection, and critiquing the immobility of the simple photograph, Chris Jones certainly applied dimensionality to his visionary works, while accessing the ‘old’, which has a nostalgic sense of time and space.
On View: Exhibition: May 4th– June 22, 2014
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday (11 am to 6 pm)
Marc Straus Gallery. 299 Grand Street, New York NY 10002
Art Review by: Farrah Sarafa
Photography by: Farrah Sarafa & Alejandra Llora