Steven L Jones
Western Kentucky University, 1983
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
My work uses a highly stylized visual language and a subject matter rooted in childhood to dramatize the disconnect that occurs when a child is forced to confront adult themes like illness, loss, and sexuality – or when an adult confronts the same themes and looks to childhood for an imaginative language rich and intuitive enough to describe such difficult emotional terrain.
I combine elements of drawing, painting, and printmaking in multi-part works and embrace qualities that are unfashionable in vanguard art – narrative and story-telling, craft and decoration, non-irony – but central to a humanist ethos which values the unique vision of the individual and its capacity to engage the minds and emotions of real human beings in a meaningful way.
The result is a kind of travelogue that navigates a tense, dreamscape version of the Middle American neighborhood where I grew up. All action occurs in this hermetic environment and is executed in a stubbornly idiosyncratic style that I’ve dubbed, half seriously, both storybook expressionism and suburban surrealism.