Erin Lee Jones

I am interested in expressions of humanity – in exposing and revealing, in the mirroring and reflecting that helps to convey the self – both the personal and universal. My work is most often viewed as painting. It stems, however, from a deep love of drawing and sculpture. I consider the process to be a type of sculptural monoprint making. I work in reverse on a flat surface, first ‘drawing’ and sculpting with different media, and then casting each piece in hydrocal. In this multi-step process – vicious, messy – some elements are lost while others are gained. The final result reveals many unexpected surprises embedded and ‘caught’ in the alchemy of casting – magical, serendipitous things happen as all the individual parts embrace the whole.

This work is very process driven with control only possible up to a certain tipping point. In each piece, I have to surrender to the materials, initiating a collaboration of sorts. It is this dynamic between control and release that I find seductive, keeping the relationship with my practice exciting. I also have a strong connection and attraction to materials. Each tin foil line is made by hand-rolling foil around thin gauge wire, the terrazzo glass is poured through the fingers – similar to sand painting – each piece of rubber and fabric is hand dipped into paint and applied carefully, and, once the piece has cured, it is rubbed with wax and buffed to a sheen. These pieces are deeply textured and have been touched. I know when one is finished as much by the way as it looks, as by the way it feels.

My work directly and indirectly references a broad range of influence – early Coptic art, Sumi-e ink drawings, African mask making, vintage erotic cartoons, emojis, Sumerian sculpture, Kundalini yoga, arts and crafts. Small bits of these influences are plucked and embedded in each piece. They are a kind of nest making, a diary, a personal history reimagined and applied.

I find great influence in my everyday experiences, too.  My partner and I frequently hand construct two-person costumes for Halloween (a giraffe, a horse, a llama, etc).  This costuming has influenced my work more than I’d like to admit: the co-navigation that each ‘identity’ requires; the struggle to walk and move in tandem – as in a relationship or a community; the freedom of the mask – anonymity; the burden of the mask – not being able to see clearly; the weight. The deeper themes these whimsical acts bring up often resurface in my work. The costume and the mask are very present as exaggerated expressions and body parts – trying to express the essence of a thing. The hiding in the costume or behind the mask, as well as the reveal. The strength and symbolism of two (dual) – working together or against. These themes originate from a very personal space but are intrinsically universal in nature.

I create visuals that reference the body, the psyche, and the erotic through fossil-like, eccentric figures. Depicting the inner world of the mind and subconscious, my work is psychedelic in nature. These pieces are not sequential or linear, there is no right or wrong entry point – jump right down the rabbit hole and find your way. There you will find a full cast of characters, large gazing eyes, improvisational patterns, bearers of inexplicable longings and fears. All portraying and excavating radical forms of transcendence, transformation, and exaltation beyond the common known — I want the spirit to surface.

Born in Jacksonville Beach, FL

Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

EDUCATION

2006 MFA University of Wisconsin-Madison

2001 BFA University of North Florida

TWO PERSON EXHIBITIONS

2016    Kari Cholnoky and Erin Jones, Safe Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2017

PRATT, DeKalb Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (Upcoming)

Take Me to the Double Picnic, Songs for Presidents, Ridgewood, NY

2016

Women Artists for Women’s Rights, Safe Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

SIX, Regina Rex, New York, NY

Super Sketchy, Alleyoop Projects, New York, NY

So Much, So Little, All at Once, Regina Rex, New York, NY

2015

Pick One, curated by Regina Rex, Harbor, New York, NY

2014

Heart’s Gymnastics, Outpost, Ridgewood, NY

The Rock Show, Hawkeye, Brooklyn, NY

The Last Brucennial, New York, NY

2013

The Librarians, Queens College Art Center, Queens, NY

Dons of Civilization, curated by Leah Dixon, Beverly’s, New York, NY

Show #1, Striphanger, Brooklyn, NY

2012

French Oyster Club, Select Fair, Miami, FL

Greasy Pink, French Neon, New York, NY

The Color Grey, galleryHOMELAND, Portland, OR

The Color Grey, galleryHOMELAND, Houston, TX

Kindred Spirits, curated by Jordana Zeldin, Brooklyn, NY

Brucennial 2012: Harderer, Betterer, Fasterer, Strongerer, New York, NY

2011

Neon Rainbow, curated by Amber Vilas, French Neon, New York, NY

2010

PPPlaza, 2917 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL

Physical Center, curated by Amanda Schmitt, Convent of St. Cecilia, Brooklyn, NY

A Dry Opening, Outlaw Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Visionary/Visions are scary, French Neon, Brooklyn, NY

Brucennial 2010: Miseducation, New York, NY

Bring Your Own Art (BYOA), X-Initiative, New York, NY

2009

Satisfaction Town, Columbia College Conaway Center, Chicago, IL

In House: Brouhaha, Rituals-y Business, Queens College Art Center, Queens, NY

2007

Jameson, Morrisey, Pepper Jack&the One That Got Away,Max Fish, New York, NY

 

PRESS AND PUBLICATIONS

2017    Maake Magazine, Issue #5, (Upcoming)

2016    Calandra, Maria, “Erin Lee Jones”, Pencil in the Studio, February, 2016

CURATORIAL

2009-2012       Co-director and Co-founder of artist collective French Neon

PERFORMANCE CAMEOS

2017

The Room, Dan Bainbridge and Matt Shalzi, ART3, Brooklyn, NY

2016

Crackers #2, Rotisserie Pig Drum, Kinetic Whale and the 7 Snakes, Dan Bainbridge, Safe Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Crackers #2, Rotisserie Pig Drum, Kinetic Whale and the 7 Snakes, Dan Bainbridge, ART3, Brooklyn, NY

2011

LOOK: A Retrospective of the Future, Baby Skin Glove, Culturefix, New York, NY

H[O]M[O]E, Baby Skin Glove, Brooklyn, NY

2010

The Dinner Famine, Baby Skin Glove, Culture Fix, New York, NY

Foot to mouth:ONE minus one, Sarah H Paulson, Alice Chilton Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2009

Rotten Metal Achievers, Faurot & Paulson, Grace Exhibition Space, Brooklyn, NY