Reece Jones makes drawings whose initial subject territories may be whimsical, improbable, impossible or theoretically muddled. Cross references, samples and complete fabrications are accumulated until an image is made manifest whose origins are potentially difficult to define. Process led, the works undergo rigorous, repeated application and removal. The results are atmospheric, and authoritative works, which belie their rudimentary material composition. Ultimately the viewer is invited to assess the legacy of surface, process, documentary, translation, actuality and illusion.
Photo: Will Melling
If there was one piece of art you could feature in, which would it be and why?
I’m not a man of religion but I think it might be a trip to be a component part of an El Greco painting on a molecular level. Just to be tumultuously unsure of my actuality, to be flesh, rock, vapor, cloth, all whipped upwards, ascending because the artist believed something to be true and had absolute faith in his ability to paint convey that truth... that would be kind of cool.
Who inspires you and why? an artist, a family member, someone current or historical?
My Wife (Tara Holmes) inspires me. She’s a prop stylist and set designer. Her work is informed by a love of art, of looking, but she trusts her instincts and can make something truly beautiful happen apparently effortlessly. She sets herself up through hard graft and preparation to know what’s ‘right’. This is extremely annoying, but it impresses me. I’m constantly inspired by film directors (good ones). It’s impressive when a film maker gets it right because as far as I can tell the odds are stacked against that. If I’m watching something and have a feeling for the vision of a director, for their identity, I am generally blown away. I think this is because my own practice is so neurotic, things take a long time to gestate and even then I release them cautiously into the world. The fear and excitement of opening a show and seeing that curmudgeonly crew of one’s peers absorbing what you have done. That’s inspiration. I always think a good opening is one populated mainly by artists who have some will to look as well as drink. Keeps you on your toes.
What are your cultural aspirations? what do you still want to see, do and achieve?
Surely one of the problems with art making is that you have only ever really scratched the surface of what’s possible. My practice evolves at a steady rate, but I’m constantly taking the core ideas apart and assembling them in new configurations. There’s no such thing as the perfect work, I’m certain of that. So it’s all about considering one’s relationship to what has gone before and what may happen next. I like it when the studio is busy as a result of some new and uncharted project looming. So my aspirations are to constantly encourage things to loom. My work is better travelled than I. That’s something to change. I need to go where the work goes more often. It’s not fair otherwise.
What are your favourite cultural cities in the world and why?
London’s where the heart is! But I worry how someone leaving art school can be expected to keep their shit together in London and feel able to take risks, set up projects, create communities, interact with and contribute to things, and it currently bewilders me. It’s our fault of course. There is something in the DNA of London which makes its artists pro-active and self sustaining. Before you know it everyone has ‘self sustained’ themselves to the margins of the city and a new, passive elite is in occupation. I will always love it here and I am increasingly vocal about maintaining the very thing that makes London special.
What are you up to at the moment and where can we find it?
Cultus Deorum just launched at Saatchi Gallery. It’s in their Prints and Originals project space and I have contributed a new work from the series The Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World and a limited edition of lino relief prints: www.saatchigallery.com October 2014.