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Pages 6-7 of Ancestral Recall

Pages 6-7 of Ancestral Recall

Matt Jones is an American artist born in 1980 now living and working in Brooklyn. After studying at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York (BFA 2002), he developed a studio practice that explores theoretical physics, the occult, ancient history, art history, and violence. Painting, drawing, and making objects are a means to interact in a play- ful and critical way with the world around him.

Jones’ abstract Ghost pictures are painted fragments of space- time. They are texture and illusion mastered. In what could be the first step of painting à la Pierre Soulages, abstract forms are found in blackness and unveiled by the changing light. Color comes through iridescent pigments and formations on the surface are revealed. A final coat of resin fixes the sur- face in a sensual depth, a glossy mirror. This is reminiscent of John Dee’s black mirror used at the close of the Renaissance to communicate with angels and spirits. The mirror finish ne- gates physical tactility and enhances the illusion of deep space within the flat surface.

The Enchantment paintings and drawings are sourced from thousands of smartphone photographs Jones has taken of his daily life and of arranged photographic collages of objects from his vast collections of ephemera. These bright, glossy, shiny things scream—it’s the nature of their energy consump- tion. Sometimes the scream isn’t literal. Sometimes it is sooth- ing, too. Or is a replacement effect. Sometimes it hits a similar visual key to where you are at a moment in your life-space and all of your filters line up with the painting and you get a small slice of eternity. The beautiful and jarring nature of the manipu- lation of materials highlights the importance of imagery from our personal narratives and their relationship to our greater cultural mythology—our contemporary versions of gods, sacred objects, and magical spells—as means to explore existence.

Jones’ Space paintings, define the viewer’s position in space-time, within the multiverse, and their role in this fiction. They are the macro and micro competing for dominance over expres- sion.

Matt Jones’ residency in Paris will serve his thirst for knowledge that nourishes his enthusiasm for the history of art and the cul- tural European heritage. Ancestral Recall is the culmination of his time here, merging his studio practice with the experience of living in the birthplace of so much of the culture that inspires him.