Tag Archives: Jason Mones



Studio Pim Blokker {2014}

Micha Patiniott (intro as aside): I had a studio visit with Pim Blokker where he showed me some work and I asked a few questions:

MP: You are back in the studio working, after a two month break. How do you pick up the thread?

Pim Blokker: I start working from zero, a kind of emptiness, and from there it can move in different directions. I make quick intuitive sketches on paper from which ideas can arise. Initially I try to work without thinking too much. It’s like working in a kind of frenzy or haze.

It could develop in two different directions, but hopefully these two things come together in the work.

MP: Which two things do you mean?

PB: Humorous narratives and abstraction. But for me there is actually not much difference between them.

MP: Could you elaborate on that–how there is not much difference between the two?

PB: Well for example this work (below) is seemingly abstract, but there is a clear narrative within it.


currently untitled. 60 x 60 cm, oil on canvas, {2014} Pim Blokker.

MP: Could you tell me the story?

PB: Hahaha. Well, that is actually quite difficult to do. It’s an outline or a structure [of a story]. An interplay of lines. You could say that the black shapes that enter the surface are behind and in front of the blue line. And then relationships start to happen; they form a sort of interplay and thereby a story. I make narrative connections by painting from left to right, top or bottom/below etc. Although this might sound vague, it is simply an abstract story.


Try to make a horse. 60 x 70 cm, oil on canvas, {2013} Pim Blokker.

Try to make a horse is a painting that refers to the myth of Medusa, where her head is cut off  from her body. From her blood springs the flying horse ‘Pegasus’. This is a classic example of a narrative story. I find there is beauty in the metamorphosis from the one thing into the other, and that’s what I would like to paint about. The concept is in the back of my head and I loosely associate with it. I make three or four versions from the same point of reference.


Courtesy of Pim Blokker.

MP: You just brought out your last two works/paintings from before your break… You hadn’t looked at them before, because I heard you say “Oh I haven’t seen that in a while!” Did you deliberately not look at them yet, while you were making new work?

PB: No I actually look at old work a lot, to see new links and contexts and to see what I can use again.

For example, I could use the layering in this painting again (the ‘currently untitled’ one featured second from top). There are actually only three layers; the background, the black planes and blue lines. These elements I could use as a staring point. I re-use and rearrange elements from old paintings until I find a new painting that I’m satisfied with, which reunites all the elements in a new way. This is a way for me to discover new possibilities, to get to something completely new again.


Dirty Dog. 70 x 80 cm, oil on canvas, {2014} Pim Blokker.


MICHA PATINIOTT: currently lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He was a resident of the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam from 2006-2007, and was also a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA from 2008-2009.

PIM BLOKKER: was born in 1974 in Woerden, The Netherlands. He lives and works in Amsterdam, and was a resident of the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam from 2009-2010.



ZZZZZZZZZZZ. installation view. Anna Zorina Gallery, New York. {2014} Micha Patiniott.

Jason Mones: The subject of the creative impetus is a reoccurring theme within your work these days. Could you discuss your experience with gravitating toward this subject as a source of inspiration? Perhaps this has something to do with dealing with the blank white page or the canvas. (A relationship to writing?)

Micha Patiniott: I guess my work has always dealt with people and objects engaging in playful and somewhat problematic forms of self-expression, but yes, I wanted the work to speak even more straightforwardly about it. Being quite literal about the theme allowed me to simultaneously carve out a lot of room to disrupt it with some serious quirkiness. I also felt that because of a recurrence of subjects and tropes, there would be more possible ways for things to resonate amongst the works, . Within the different iterations new possibilities for shifts in meaning pop up. There is a lot of juggling with objects that can produce or receive images within the paintings, like pencils and canvasses – images ‘making’ and/or ‘unmaking’ themselves within the work. I like it when the images can potentially fold back on themselves, becoming self-referential and recursive.

The blank page – the empty surface-as-state of potential (and perhaps its end at the same time) does play a big role. The protagonists in my work, whether human or object, driven by this creative impetus, often meet with emptiness.

In my studio, on the ground and leaning against the wall next to the paintings, I have a drumskin that is loosened from its barrel. It helps me continually think of empty surfaces as loaded screens or skins.


studio installation view. Micha Patiniott.

JM: One of the many wonderful things about your work is the dynamic way in which form has a flexibility that disregards convention, almost in defiance of it. Could you give us some insight as to how you arrive at these decisions? (How do the formal decisions of the painting come about?)

MP: I love to play with fluid ideas related to the body, objects, form, paint and representation – and how these notions can bleed into each-other. Objects may have human properties and become filled with presence. Vice-versa, human body parts sometimes become object-like, evoking the idea of being containers.

With the distortions of form I want to relate meaning through a sort of language of the body. So with distinct postures and manipulations of the physique, I wish to show something in a very physical way, the way one might understand things from interacting with people and objects through their own body in real life.


Vector. 130 x 160 cm, Oil and gesso on canvas. {2014} Micha Patiniott.

By ‘disregard[ing] convention’ as you put it, I can move towards a slapstick of the body, where exaggerated and absurd physical activity exceeds the boundaries of what one might communicate through naturalistic means. I am intrigued by the fact that a certain type of caricature, while thriving on exaggeration, can tell us something very subtle and concise. It seems like such a contradiction, but that is what I am trying to make happen. In the end, the formal decisions I make are always informed by how such a play with form is felt in my own body, first in a very physical way and then psychologically and as narrative.

JM: In the yellow and black painting titled “Lux Wax II”, the image is derivative of an earlier painting you have done. Could you talk about whether there are reoccurring themes within the work and how they interact with your daily practice?

MP: The works form a network of questions, definitions and meanings. Themes do reoccur, mostly revolving around (problematic or awkward) scenes of self-expression. If not directly, the work  deals with these ideas implicitly, utilizing binaries like showing and hiding, presence and absence, strength and weakness, making and undoing, support and collapse, potential and failure. Despite these patterns, ambiguity remains, as growing connections amongst the work harbor new meanings, and new subjects are naturally introduced.

Ideas for new works tend to gladly impose themselves on me in a cascade of associations when I look at my existing works. The interactions of these ideas within my daily practice can be quite lively, to the point of becoming almost disruptive. I need to live with these ideas for quite some time before I can gauge their potential for becoming a good painting.


[LEFT] Micha Patiniott. [RIGHT] Breaking Wheel. 150 x 120 cm, colored gesso and oil on canvas. {2014} Micha Patiniott.

JM: I’ve noticed various works in the recent exhibition at Anna Zorina Gallery use a framing device within the painted image, as if there is a page within the page. Could you talk about that a bit? (It seems to strike a great conversation about the painted image as an object.)

MP: Yes, it is the recursive thing again, the image within the image, the self-referential painting. I have always been very aware of the edges of an image, figuring out playful ways to deal with the moment that representation collapses and / or reconstitutes itself. Where does the image begin or end, and when does the painting as an object kick in? That question is always very much part of the work itself.

In these recent ‘framed’ works I have been playing with the space around an image more explicitly, letting it be part of the image and object itself. I like it that these images are super honest about their representational character: the framing device tells so straight away. On the other hand, the frames are not so straightforward as they seem. For example, sometimes they are formed by a large piece of bare canvas around the image, so the image is actually on top of the larger surface, the barren canvas pointing to its object-ness. Another example: if you look at the work ‘Draw Draw’, green paint creeps over the frame, coming from underneath a white page partially covering it. These squiggles mark the liminal moment between frame and image. At the same time it makes the frame into something that can receive marks in itself, and by doing so it becomes an illusionary space. These moves introduce some confusion into the work regarding which part of the work constitutes frame and image. I am very interested in this sort of ambiguity of status.


Draw Draw. 70 x 90 cm, colored gesso and oil on canvas. {2013} Micha Patiniott.


MICHA PATINIOTT: currently lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He was a resident of the Rijksacademy in Amsterdam from 2006-2007, and was also a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA from 2008-2009. Micha’s work can be seen at Anna Zorina Gallery in New York.

JASON MONES: Received his MFA from Yale in 2008. Mones has taught at the University of Connecticut and Dowling College, while he currently teaches at Montclair University in New Jersey. He lives and paints in Brooklyn, NY. He has exhibited internationally, including shows in Seoul (S. Korea, 2012) and at the AIM Biennial: Bronx Museum A in New York in 2013.


Rainbow Time Machine_Jason Mones

Rainbow Time Machine, oil paint on canvas {2013} Jason Mones

2007년 정도에 내가 Yale의 오픈스튜디오를 갔을때 나는 많은 대학원생들의 작품 중 한 작가의 그림에 많은 시간을 할애했었다. 그 그림은 황량한 사막에 덩그러니 놓인 통나무 집 한채의 배경에, 토이스토리의 Sheriff Woody처럼 생긴 카우보이가 약간 어정쩡하게 서있는 그림이었다. 분위기는 초현실주의와 디즈니의 중간쯤으로 보였고, 전체적인 배경은 현실을 반영하는 어떠한 관념과 디즈니 가상현실의 폐단 정도가 뒤섞인 모습이었다. 당시 용기를 내어 작가에게 그림에 대해 몇가지 물어봤던 기억이 난다.

At Yale’s Graduate Open Studio in 2007, I spent quite a long time in front of Jason Mones’ paintings. One in particular depicted a cowboy that looked like Woody from the  movie “Toy Story“, standing awkwardly in the background of an empty desert with a log cabin in the foreground. The entire atmosphere was both surreal and Disney-ified–the scene looked like a mixture of abstract ideas and  false (or maybe virtual) realities. I asked Jason several questions regarding his paintings, in order to figure out his thought process.

그리고 2012년에 나는 그 작가를 오마하의 Bemis 아티스트 레지던시 프로그램에서 다시 만났다. 그의 그림은 Yale의 딱딱하고 이론적인 날카로움에서 좀 더 자유분방해진 느낌이었다. 그림 속 등장인물들의 형체는 더욱 일그러져있었고, 그림은 그 그림으로써의 정체성을 더욱 자각하고 있었다. 그리고 특히 그림 화면의 모든 부분은 한층 그를 닮아 있었다.

DroneFruit (light)_Jason Mones

Drone Fruit, oil paint on canvas, {2013} Jason Mones

In 2012 I met him again as a fellow artist at the Bemis Artist Residency program in Omaha, Nebraska. His work had become more open and liberated from Yale’s straight and stubborn academicism. Figures in his paintings had become more distorted and the entire painting looked to be aware of  its own identity as “a painting”.  The surface showed the artist’s intentional and unintentional brush-strokes. I would argue that his paintings became more like himself than they had ever been before.

그의 그림 “Drone Fruit”은 그의 작업방식이 잘 나타나 있다. 거대한 버섯은 그 윗부분이 UFO를 닮았으며 그 아랫부분에 뚫린 구멍 사이로 2차대전에 참전했을것만 같은 구식의 비행기가 윙윙 파리처럼 날아 나온다. 한가로운 버섯에 한가로운 장난감 비행기같지만 또한 아래 잔디 모양은 흡사 UFO가 땅으로 기둥같은 레이져를 발사하여 폭파하는 상황같은 묘한 이중성이 있다.

His recent painting Drone Fruit shows his work and thought process sure enough. A giant mushroom looks like a spinning UFO shooting laser beams to the ground, causing a grass explosion. The mushroom stalk quietly spits World War II era airplanes into the sky like buzzing mosquitos. There is a lot to decode. Every gesture he makes redefines and confuses the painting as a whole. Embracing the prospect of  multiple readings, Jason Mones picks his figures and compositions {by working subconsciously to outline a narrative.}(Mones)

“Hand Plant”에서는 Jason 특유의 우스꽝스러우면서 괴기스러운 분위기가 회화를 통해 효과적으로 연출된다. 화분의 잔디는 화면에 가득차게 확대되어 보여짐으로써 마치 B급 공포물에 나오는 서툰 클로즈업 장면같다. 잔디 사이로 나온 네개의 손가락은 그 빛과 그림자의 대조로 인해 얄팍한 긴장감을 주기에 더욱 더 우스꽝스러운 B급 분위기가 난다.

HandPlant (light)

Hand Plant, oil paint on canvas, {2013} Jason Mones

In his painting Hand Plant, Jason’s own humor and sincerity are efficiently carried by the medium of painting. The zoomed-in plant in a pot fills the entire scene, reminiscent of a B-horror movie close-up. Four creepy fingers reach out of the green in a dramatic chiaroscuro.


Payless, oil paint on canvas, 58″ x 64″, {2011} Jason Mones

 ”Payless” 가게 앞에서 시위를 하는 Payless, 말 그대로 ‘급여가 없다’며 시위하는 사람들. 작가는 아마도 여성의 나체 시위에 대한 이야기를 하려는 것 같다. 회화에서 여성의 신체는 미의 상징으로 이용되어져 왔으나, 그의 그림체는 곡선을 통해, 그리고 다소 중성화된 (겨드랑이의 털) 신체를 그림으로써 전체적인 분위기가 희화화되고 그 심각한 사회현상은 서툴러진다.

 규칙을 지속적으로 와해시키는 그의 작업은 페인팅의 본연의 임무를 더욱 강조한다. 회화가 회화임을 자각하며 그 자신의 정체성을 더욱 알아가는 것처럼, 그의 작업과정은 앞으로 그 과정 자체에 더욱 집중될 것이라는 점에서 그가 매체를 통해 해나갈 작업들은 무궁무진해 보인다.


[LEFT] IOU3, oil on canvas, {2012} Jason Mones [RIGHT] Tommy Gun, 10″ x 8″,oil paint on canvas, {2012} Jason Mones

A street demonstration plays out in front of the Payless shoe store? The artist seems to depict a nude parade. Although historically female nudity has been often used as a symbol of beauty and desire, here Jason’s painting neutralizes the femininity of the nude through the depiction of armpit hair and a bold painterly rendering of the body line. The problematic social context and those issues surrounding it become messy and humorous in his world. His paintings reflect our own daily lives. And there are still many more days left to explore in his work.


JASON MONES: Received his MFA from Yale in 2008. Mones has taught at the University of Connecticut and Dowling College, while he currently teaches at Montclair University in New Jersey. He lives and paints in Brooklyn, NY. He has exhibited internationally, including shows in Seoul (S. Korea, 2012) and at the AIM Biennial: Bronx Museum A in New York in 2013.

JANG SOON IM: A Korean born artist living and working in the United States. He is interested in presenting battles between ancient armies from past eras as an unattainable fantasy, a depiction of alternative worlds. For more on him and his work, click his name to visit his website.



Jang Soon Im’s Donglaebu-SoonJeoldo (after the painting 동래부순절도 (東萊府殉節圖, 1760), Digital print, 64″ x 48″ {2012}

When I visited Jang soon Im’s studio at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, there was little evidence that he had produced any work during his month-long residency. His studio was dark and the only work displayed was a video entitled Turtleship projected waist-high on his studio wall.

The video depicted a Korean Turtleship—a 500-yard-long, 16th century warship complete with 22 cannon portholes and dozens of steel spikes protruding from the ceiling of its enclosed top deck. Coupled with the video was an audio excerpt from the History Channel television documentary Technology Korea—a powerful battleship of the 16th century. The deep-voiced, English narrator touted the ship as a foremost example of Korea’s technological prowess, accompanied by a soundtrack of dagu drums and harrowing, operatic voices.

Despite the grandeur, it was hard to take the ship seriously. The video was smaller than the size of a computer screen, and the pixelated images of the ship had been taken from the graphics of a popular computer game, Age of Empire 2. Several images of the ship moving through the video game’s ocean had been strung together and looped, so it traveled through the same tiny section of water in choppy, artificial movements. The small amount of the historical ship’s remaining prestige was permanently cheapened when the video ended after 32 seconds and then looped. The glorious achievement of Korea’s spiked warships was destined to be forever mass-produced in bite-sized doses.

I had spoken to Im a few times during the residency before I had seen his work, and through those short conversations (“I make battle scenes,” he told me) I had decided to write his work off completely. Any work that refused to deal with the rhizome or phantom capital was clearly self-indulgent, visual fluff. After I saw Turtleship, though, I was captivated by the relationship between the dramatic subject matter and the flimsy aesthetic; I found more of Im’s work online—digital prints, collages, sculptures, drawings, and videos—that all re-imagined the battles of ancient Korea.

Details, Donglaebu-SoonJeoldo (after the painting 동래부순절도 (東萊府殉節圖), 1760), Digital print,{2012}

In the digital print, Donglaebu-SoonJeoldo (after the painting 동래부순절도 (東萊府殉節圖), 1760), dozens of military figures defend a walled village from an oncoming attack. The military figures are photographs of Im in different poses, wielding weapons and wearing military costumes he himself has fashioned out of painted cardboard and fabric. An outdated, striped, canvas tablecloth forms the ground beneath the walled village and the surrounding mountainous landscape is fabricated out of graphic paper shapes the color of Play-doh.

Through his work, Im does not try to recreate battles from past eras (a task he refers to in his artist statement as an “unattainable fantasy”), but instead plays out his own re-imagined views of these wars. To create the prints and videos, Im photographs the individual components and arranges them digitally according to the composition of a specific, found media source. In the case of Donglaebu-SoonJeoldo (after the painting 동래부순절도 (東萊府殉節圖), 1760) the composition is modeled after the 18th century painting referenced in the work’s title.


동래부순절도 (東萊府殉節圖),145 cm x 96 cm, ink and color on silk {1760}

By replicating the compositions of specific media sources, Im draws an explicit connection between his work and the media portrayals. Im’s pieces are playful, childlike, and wholly unconvincing representations of Korean military life. In Field Battle, the grand general defeats several missiles fired from enemy fighter jets with his foam-core saber.


But Im’s work is hardly different from the media sources they reference. In both Donglaebu-SoonJeoldo (after the painting 동래부순절도 (東萊府殉節圖), 1760) and 동래부순절도 (東萊府殉節圖) , there is no blood—the only visible difference between the alive and the dead is the orientation of their bodies. In Field Battle, the few traces of blood are represented by red teardrop-shaped pieces of paper that immediately arrange themselves into decorative, spiraling shapes after leaving the soldiers’ mortal wounds.

Through his humorous engagement with the artifice of media depictions, Im reveals these depictions as sensationalist, sanitized and romanticized fodder for a passive audience’s viewing pleasure. According to Im, Korea’s violent war history has entered the domain of sitcoms, jingles, and commercials where the realities of war and death—like the missiles that fire in Field Battle—are reduced to the gentle tone of a children’s slide whistle.


JANG SOON IM is a Korean born artist living and working in the United States. He is interested in presenting battles between ancient armies from past eras as an unattainable fantasy, a depiction of alternative worlds. For more on him and his work, click his name to visit his website.
STEPH ZIMMERMAN recently graduated with a B.F.A. in Photography from Washington University in St. Louis. She is currently in the process of avoiding employment. For more information on Steph and her work, click her name.