Looking at anything, if we consider it Art, allows us to tune our seeing…a painting is an instrument, a kind of calibrator for thought and perception. We don’t expect it to be meaningful immediately like everything else (an iPhone means 1,000 things quickly), we expect a formal experience to confuse our consideration of content, usually, which is what allows it to be ‘more’ or ‘other’ than it ‘is’.
In building this kind of instrument, I often rely on culturally clichéd tropes very personal to me, like a glyphic tablet, the sun, ferns, a rooster. A ubiquitous motif of the french,yankees, country folk, lovers of kitch, etc.; a Rooster is also infinite. Growing up on a farm I’ve observed poultry closely and had relationships with them, seen our rooster speck and rape hens, forage for ticks, run around headless.
I start with a linguistic sign of [rooster, rogue text, moons, whatever] as my drawing, and my knowledge that it exceeds knowing as my color, material, process, texture, scale.Then I rub the two together like sticks, looking for friction.
The problem with cliché is that it’s meaning is powerless. Another problem is that meaning, in relation to objects, is not singular – it’s inﬁnite and malleable. In that way,clichés exclude those perspectives (non-dominant) which ﬁnd different meanings than the prescribed one.
I’ve always had a distrust of something that it supposed to ‘mean something’. It diminishes the agency of the producer and the consumer.
In my practice, I take that supposition of meaning in ﬁgurative form and empty it, or,from another perspective, overload it with aesthetic and material significance.
It’s not aggressive, it’s generous. I sincerely believe in the Warholian principle that if something is formal enough, if it has no clear symbolic value anymore, it suddenly can become a new sight for meaningful signiﬁcation, an instrument anyone can play and which, though speciﬁcally tuned, can express powerfully and with nuance.
An instrument like that can be a tool for perceptual agency. That’s what I try to make.
Yale School of Art
Sarah Lawrence College
Two person, Fisher Parrish Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Antone’s Sculpture Garden, Art Lot, Brooklyn, NY
Second Nature (solo), Radical Abacus, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Antone Könst & Bridget Mullen, Hometown Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
NADA art fair, NY, NY
The Pilgrim’s Progress, Abel Baker Contemporary, Portland, ME
Antone’s Sculpture Garden, Virtual Dream Center .Com
ReUnion, Fondation des Etas-Unis, Paris
Becoming That, becomingthat.com|
Afterglow NY, Blood Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
How to Drape the Concrete, Galerie Jeanroch Dard, Brussels
PwrFlwr (solo), Fondation des Etats-Unis, Paris
Check XXe, Art Brussels, Exo Exo @ After Howl, Brussels
Ctrl Alt Shadow; Antone Könst & Jean-Baptiste Lenglet, Atelier David Douard, Paris
Slo Jamz, 109 Ingraham, Brooklyn, NYAWARDS & RESIDENCIESFondation des Etats-Unis
Fellowship, Paris, France,2014
Yale Norfolk Summer Residency, Norfolk,CT 2010
Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship 2010
Dean’s International Travel Grant, CalArts 2011
Antone Konst: Second Nature, RecitEditions, Paris, FR 2015
Boat People, Recit Editions, Paris, FR2014EMMA Magazine, Issue One, published
in Brooklyn, New York 2013SLC Review, Bronxville, NY 2010