Press Release: Grotesque Crimes of Beauty – Three Kings Studio
Jesse Jones Artist Statement
Grotesque Crimes of Beauty
Three Kings Studio
The work in this show is mostly mixed media (painting, drawing, mono-printing, and collage) layered, combined and contrasted to create new connections and narratives. I believe this is similar to how we process experiences in general — vignettes of moments, experiences and interactions are merged into personal memories.
Many of the pieces have a subject that starts as a collage. These are made from found images that I respond to. They may be examples of a subculture I am interested in (punk DIY design, tattoo flash, comics, etc), a reference to an artificial ideal (60’s and 70’s advertising illustrations), or the abstract appearance of biological illustrations. I digitize the images, print them out and combine different elements into something new– a portrait, a figure, or a creature. The resulting collages often have an unexpected sense of personality and emotion, with a pinch of humor. I view this process a bit like sampling in music – taking a piece of something that exists and combining it with other things, and the result is something completely unique that still has ties to multiple origins.
I place these images in an abstract environment of layered prints or areas of paint. I like the contrast between the representational nature of the collage and the abstraction of color and shape interacting. The mono-print process I use creates one-of-a-kind prints, and is prone to subtle shifts in texture. I intentionally retain a certain level of crudeness and imperfection, because I think that is very human, and I want the work to look like it was made by a person.
Combining these very different artistic styles creates a visual tension that appeals to me. I am very interested in this type of contrast and feel that when balance is found, it can lead to a kind of stillness, a space between.
Jesse Jones Bio
Grotesque Crime of Beauty
Three Kings Studio
I emigrated to New York with my family when I was a teenager. When I was 15 I got my first tattoo (I almost fainted) and went to my first all-ages hardcore show at CBGBs, both experiences led to a life-long interest. Since this was before the internet I developed a love for postal mail as a means to keep in touch with my friends back in England. I still send weird cards to some lucky people.
I went to Pratt in Brooklyn and while working toward my MFA I joined my friends in forming the hardcore punk band Yuppicide. We played for 9 years, took a 15 year break, and then played for another 6. During that period we released 5 albums and toured Europe multiple times.
I got my Masters in Painting at Hunter College. I had been dabbling in graphic design with the band and after 10 years of working in restaurants I shifted careers completely. I was a partner in a boutique creative agency for a while, and then went back to Freelancing as an Art Director. I worked for various advertising agencies, Showtime and the 4A’s. I am now Freelancing again while enjoying painting in my time off. I live just outside Ithaca, NY with my partner Kat, our daughter Thea.