Erik Jones is on of my favorite recent, live, painters to come into my radar these last few months – especially following his successful solo show at Spoke Art. Anyone who knows me knows how I feel about graphic shape design and beautiful ladies, so needless to say I am a big fan of his seamless overlapping of the two. And the number of dualities at play in each piece is proof of his skill; They’re messy and they’re organized, they’re flat and full of depth, they’re composed simply but with great care. You know you’ve spotted a master when someone makes something that is complicated, as these pieces are, look easy. His knowledge of color clearly is off the charts; Only someone who understands theory could get away with tossing this many colors onto one piece and have it look so symbiotic. And don’t even get me started on his hands….they are gorgeous.
Pieces like these have a level of confidence to them that is appealing as well. Granted, with such chaotic pieces a mistake is less easily noticed, but I know I could never paint such a delicate face and then top it off with a perfectly transparent block of red straight across the perfectly rendered lips, as seen below. All I can think is what would happen if it didn’t work? It would be like another few hours of fixing that mistake – and then you’re out of energy and possibly a bit scared off from making more outlandish and impulsive decisions. But Jones, I feel, uses this chaos to his advantage. His work is proof that you can’t be scared off by possible mistakes, but maybe, instead, treat them as ‘happy accidents’ that further the greater flow of the piece. So I trust these pieces, because he trusts his ability. And that makes good art.