In the Spotlight: A Conversation with Matt Jones, Artist and MFA Student at Hunter College
”The art life is the best life that I could ever have intentionally stumbled into,” Matt Jones says to me as we discuss his art and creative process via Zoom. Rather than viewing life and art as two different modes of existence, Jones sees them as deeply intertwined. His finely tuned powers of awareness and observation were as apparent during our interview as they are in his art.
Jones’ work is rooted in the real world, featuring people, animals, trees and other earthly subjects. However, there is also a sense of magic and fantasy, storytelling and world-building. His recent painting “The Beginning of a Story” is set in a natural landscape of grass and trees. However, there is also a large opened human hand in the foreground and a stately building in the background. The human, the earthly and the mystical come together in a way that invites viewers to ponder the relationships between these worlds.
This confluence of reality and imagination can be seen throughout Jones’ art, and features prominently in his recent Hunter College MFA thesis exhibition “Gravity Spell.” This exhibition consists entirely of paintings he finished before the pandemic. Throughout “Gravity Spell,” Jones deftly weaves together the realistic, natural and imaginary, showcasing his growth as an artist during his time at Hunter. Jones’ work will be showcased in The Hunter College 2020 MFA Thesis Spotlight, a group online exhibition hosted by Hauser & Wirth, which opened on Nov. 10.