Solo focuses more on facial expressions and individual characters than Jon’s previous collection. Again, the calibre of his work allows you to connect with the individuals in his portraits. The deep velvet textures he creates from using pressed black chalk adds serious depth and feeling to his work, it feels like you have an immediate emotional connection to the portrait you are looking at.
The baleful eyes of his latest work, as they look directly at the viewer, make it feel as if you are having a kind of conversation with the subjects; particularly ‘Daisy’ aptly named after the subject herself, Daisy Lowe.
Solo is on for the next two weeks at the Artist’s Room, and with three pieces already having sold before the opening I’d recommend getting there before the show wraps up. After the show concludes some pieces will remain, but Solo really should be viewed as a collection.
When I was there I think the best way I could describe how it made me feel was the montage scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, where they are going round the Art Galleries (video clip here). A meaningful, if not completely understood connection happens when viewing Solo, I felt like I almost knew the subjects.
A specially commissioned piece by Jon is also on display in the building, its a huge wall sized canvas painting, I heard Jon describe how tricky it was to incorporate the blue tint into his process, as the charcoal he draws with would get smudged by the blue paint. Knowing how hard he worked on that piece and the scale of it, it definitely makes you stop and think when you seen it. It’s located on the second floor of 2 Dowling Street, above The Artist’s Room.
So to summarise, get along to The Artist’s Room to see some wonderfully evocative and velvet textured work from a young man with a real talent.