Jonathan Smith

Jonathan Smith

I've always been interested in hard-edged productions, be it Ellsworth Kelley's paintings and sculptures, the black and early color years of Frank Stella, or the utilization of color as building blocks for figuration in Alex Katz, Roy Lichtenstein and David Hockney's post-pop work. 

My current work follows some established trends in drawing, where repetition and line work create distinct variations of a similar theme. 

The repetitive drawings utilize a bleed to mirror the finished work, as well as attempt to consciously use all marked materials involved with the creative process.  My current paintings represent masculine endeavours of blood, sport, and combat, including animal sports perpetrated as macho in past times.  The actor is suggestively posed and brightly colored to increase tension within the works. 

The use of enamel allows a mirrored appearance to obscure the viewers ability to grasp the painting as a whole up close, forcing the viewer to lstep back and look at a distance.  This reinforces his relationship with the gallery and its other works, precluding intimate reflection on the piece as separate from the whole of the institution and its agenda.

My current work is influenced by repetition, bright colors, mechanical working processes, and the idea of building an image.  Each drawing attempts to be elegant and simple, to mirroring the natural building blocks of cells, sliced and stamped between slides.  Each painting is an attempt to capture an active masculine image in hard-edged blocks of paint, and to solidify the activity in vibrant color and suggestive poses.