Born in 1977, Jonas Wood, the now LA-based world-famous painter, was originally a psychology BA graduate from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York state. Perhaps it was his interest in the subconscious and the psyche that led him to explore his emblematic subject matter throughout his MFA at the University of Washington and subsequent artistic career as a painter of seemingly mundane domestic interiors, still-lifes and portraits with a strikingly unique, layered spatial perspective. In his own words:

“I’m interested in exploring the spaces that I’ve inhabited and the psychological impact they’ve had on me and my memories of them…and then I can create a new memory of that space.”

Drawing on the robust art historical tradition of interior painting among figures like Hockney, Matisse and van Gogh, his iconic, colourful style of large-scale acrylic and oil paintings marries ordinary subject matter with spatial experimentations that is a hybrid between Contemporary Pop Art and Cubism. He brings together a range of formal techniques, such as layering photographs and sketches of objects, taken from various angles and creating collage-like, fragmented compositions. Thus, his method takes a twist on its modernist roots, transforming the expected and the familiar into the uncanny for the viewer. A great example of this is his painting Ovitz’s Library (2013), depicting the LA-based collector Michael Ovitz’s impressive library. Playing with various types of organisational systems, such as painting, literature and libraries themselves, Wood’s representation of the space looks like it’s shown from various angles simultaneously, bringing together bright coloured seemingly chaotic spatial disorder into a harmonious and unified composition. He tends to work in an immediate, spontaneous way, drawing on his surroundings and the various references such as photographs or drawings listed above to create new work.

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