Posted on July 15, 2012
BENJAMIN JONES IS an artist who lives and works within a Universe of his own making. His work functions within the perfectly rational rules that he has created. Jones makes exquisite drawings that are both physically small and psychologically huge. Deceptively simple in line and color, they reveal themselves to be deeply complex and personal views of the world he sees. Because Jones is a man of few words, we must rely upon the lovely and apt description of his work by his long-time Atlanta dealer, Barbara Archer:
“Benjamin Jones creates haunting images that reveal a distinct visual language. Subjects include current events and icons of popular culture; however, his most consistent subject is himself. Inhabiting an intriguingly indefinable space, each of these poignant self-portraits reveals the artist’s innermost feelings and insecurities. Mixing whimsy with horror, humor with malevolence, Jones’ forms become vehicles for messages about the struggle of life and all its paradoxes. These seductive and intimate drawings, paradoxical in themselves, create a tension between the purity of their intuition and the refinement of their presentation. ”
Haunting and distinct, indeed. And I would add, magical. Take a look for yourself.
Benjamin Jones is said to live a very solitary life. A deep reader of the news, he sometimes wakes up at 5 am to begin his daily journey through three newspapers a day. Often his work reflects something going on in the larger world, as in these drawings entitled “Hurricane Katrina” and “Barely Surviving”
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 graphite and colored pencil on paper 12″ x 9
Barely Surviving, 2005 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ graphite, colored pencil on paper
- Always there is a deeply personal view of the world, often comic and occasionally sad:
- Broken Pride (USA) , graphite and colored pencil.Every time I look at these drawings I am struck by the utter beauty of Benjamin Jones’ drawing. Lines that are subtle and strong create figures that mesmerize. The occasional hits of hot color and minimalist composition propel these drawings out of the realm of “outsider” art and plant them quite firmly in a contemporary art context.
Overpopulated Planet- graphite and colored pencil
Venus de Milo, 2003 13 1/2″ x 11″ graphite, colored pencil on paper
In Jones’ own words- “Putting pencil to paper without hesitation, without planning, my drawing emerges. For me, the artistic process is one of discovery.” And we are indeed lucky that he chooses to share his explorations and discoveries with us.
For more information and images of Benjamin Jones’ work take a look at the Barbara Archer Gallery web site- http://www.barbaraarcher.com/