Ben Jones

16 September - 15 October, 2022

Ben Jones: "We feed them and tame them and think we know them.”

Born 1987, Frankston, Victoria

Jones’ paintings arrive through the artist’s fascination with generations of a community and the presence of artefacts which take pride of place on their front lawns, gardens and houses; curiosities he observes as a local, and a phenomenon of visual vernacular some but not all neighbourhoods possess.

Primarily represented as distortions, his subjects come to survey the charming absurdness of bespoke water features and letterboxes, as well as everyday things like padlocks, pets and fences. The works are blunt and peculiar in appearance, steeped in heavy applications of paint. Thick black outlines divide their timber surfaces and are also used to outline his subjects with deliberate humour and carry a sentiment of ‘staking ones own’, remaining quintessential to Jones’ previous works and how he now frames the image of his neighbourhood.

His acknowledgement of repeated motifs and a plethora of recognisable yet distinctly-Coburg visual cues is acutely expressed through his decision to delineate each subject he selects as one distinct work and also foregrounds the idea of existing singularities, which as a gestalt inform the complexities of what a colloquial image might look like, reflecting several of the dominant ideas for the exhibition and the importance of viewing Jones’ pictures together. The various motifs and emblematic ideas he presents also include examinations between asymmetry and balance, isolated sentiments and idiosyncratic designs which inform and result from a sense of collective identity, and the fragile line between the decorative and the iconic.

Ben Jones is an artist living and working in Coburg, Melbourne. He has exhibited regularly in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and New York. Jones is the founder of small publisher ‘No One Special’ who have published numerous titles and participated in Book Fairs, both locally and abroad. Jones has self published 29 titles relating to his own art practice since 2010. Jones also co-founded TANS Gallery. TANS went on to exhibit 38 artists over a 2 year period.

– James Bowen