Image credits: All images of artwork by Chris Jones, taken by the artist.
Book and magazine images, board, poster, wire, polymer varnish on aluminium panel
30.7 x 43.3 x 1.2 in
(78 x 110 x 3 cm)
A World Without Memory
Book and magazine images, board, wire, polymer varnish on aluminium panel
30.7 x 43.3 x 1 in
(78 x 110 x 2.5 cm)
Between the Dream and the Void
Book, magazine and digital images, board, wire, and polymer varnish
66 x 21 x 35.5 in (167.64 x 53.34 x 90.17 cm)
We first came across Chris Jones’ work at Masterpiece Art Fair 2022, where Marc Straus Gallery showed his piece Stately Home. This piece struck a chord with us as a perfect depiction of the inside of a creative’s mind. We wanted to find out more about Chris and his work. Chris was so kind to take the time to describe his work and his approach. As my voice can hardly describe his thoughts, I let him say it in his own words:
“I consider all of the work as a kind of sculptural collage – almost always made from photographic imagery, cut directly from books, magazines and posters.
This process came about through a fascination with the photographic image – I had always found photographs unsettling, their removal from space and time, flattened, frozen, miniaturised – it always seemed creepy.
So I began cutting things out of the photographs that I had around and placing them back in space, to see what happened, physically, psychologically – over the years this grew into a more heavily manipulated process, warping and contorting the images to bring them closer to their original forms, whilst also incorporating almost random ancillary aspects from the material I was using.
I began to see the entirety of printed photographic imagery as a separate world and wanted to fictionalise aspects of that – wondering how this group of people would eke out a living if this object became their sole existence, or what would happen if this piece of fruit had been there for years without the normal effects of our physical world – what kind of entropic processes would it undergo in this photographic world?
The objects I choose to recreate often have an ephemeral element – a smoking cigarette, a selection of fruit and veg – or some sort of transcendent or transformative power, though often obsolete versions – a tube TV, a portable Stereo, an SLR camera.
I have also worked a lot with vehicles such as cars and motorbikes as these are things created to move fast, to cut through space and time, so the idea of them as ruin intrigues me and has often provided fertile ground to explore these themes. These were made from a net or pattern found online, which I would then blow up to life-size proportions before pasting with images, beginning randomly and becoming more mimetic. The process would often result in ruptures or omissions that would then become part of the thing’s history, or an unrelated image from an earlier layer would peep through and suggest a whole new section. It was important to me that I wasn’t sculpting these objects so much as gradually bringing them back to their original source, layer by layer, and along the way enabling the anomalies and synchronous diversions that would occur.
The wall-based works operate the same way but within a standard framework – dimensions I took roughly from the average size of a flat-screen TV at the time. I think of them as portals into this other world, opening up seemingly randomly into innumerable different environments, usually starting with a single image from which I would extrapolate the missing surroundings – landscapes, interiors, cities. Often there is a museological or store display element as I’m fascinated by the various methods we employ to order and appropriate our world – these are fictional arrangements of items from this photographic world, their subjects leaking out and infecting one another or setting up makeshift homes and workplaces.
Ultimately I think the project has become about connecting things, working against the stasis of the image to create worlds which are seemingly forever shifting, morphing, reforming. I like to get the pieces to a point where it feels as though when I stop, they might just keep on going.”
Thank you so much, Chris, for allowing us a small glimpse into your world and your creative process.