We live in a time where the consolidation of wealth has never been greater, and fear rules politics and the media. We are at a moment of transition out of the Age of Enlightenment. My most recent work “The Death of Reason” appropriates imagery and stylistic techniques from the “Death of Marat” painted by-Jacques-Louis David in 1793, during the Age of Enlightenment. Napoleon has all but ended feudalism, and science and reason began to challenge religious and patriarch. “The Death of Reason” signifies how America is returning to an autocracy out of fear and use of reason falls to the wayside. In “The Death of Reason”, I have altered David’s image by breaking past its framed constraints and adding gold leaf and collage to juxtapose the current moment with this Idealized past.
In the series “The Death of Painting”, I have appropriated imagery from that of Giacometti and J.M.W. Turner. I want the viewer to see a connection to the past via the materials used in the work. I begin by finding old ornate frames. I break down the frames and add gold leaf. Gold leaf is then incorporated from the frame directly onto the canvas and into the composition of the painting. From there, I introduce the environmental element of the tree branches. The wood of the branches merge with the frames creating work that now exists on three distinct planes; the canvas, the frame, and the branches. My efforts were to explore the possibility of breaking free from the canvas to discover if painting is truly is dead.
The Age of Enlightenment saw the beginnings of a shift in power from the monarchy and the church to one of reason, science and the people. We are now at a moment in history where power is again shifting from western white male dominance and to keep that power so is reason and science. We are at moment in time where we as a nation are falling away from ideals we fought to have and maintain since the Age of Enlighmenment.
Jonathan is a born a raised New Yorker. Drawing early on and throughout his life even during his six year hiatus in the Navy serving aboard Submarines and the first Gulf war. The Navy exposed him not only the world outside of New York but to art history beyond that of his early New York graffiti art scene. Upon completion of his enlistment and his strong work ethic he went on to study fine arts, focusing on painting, drawing and sculpture and a minor in Art History at the University of Missouri. His desire not only to study technique but the history that has influenced western art had been relevant throughout his career. After graduation in 1998 Jonathan became the father of three children. While not one to limit himself to social norms became a stay at home dad to support his wife’s military career and tend to the his first sons special needs. Jonathan’s work kept progressing receiving 2011 best in show at the annual Yellow Barn Glen Echo gallery, portrait commission at Walter Reed Naval Medical Center, gallery representation and having multiple mural commissions. Now he has embarked on getting his MFA at the American university. This has cultivated an artist who brings a depth to his work that is both visually and mentally engaging.