WOW! Our minds are totally blown over here. Jonny Alexander is an artist and human of unimaginable talent. His creativity and imagination run and flow out of his artwork. Here’s a brief look into what drives and inspires on of our favorite artists! ENJOY!
“My Golden Prickly Pear”
Name: Jonny Alexander
Occupation: Art Making: Printmaker / Painter / Designer (And various dead-end jobs to pay the rent)
Location: Northern California (currently)
Q: What are you currently working on?
A: Thankfully I’m busy at the moment. Wrapping up design and branding for the Vagabrothers, who are traveling brothers documenting their adventures around the world, giving people the tools and inspiration to live an alternative lifestyle in motion. Also, starting to design two labels for a winery out of Napa Valley. Between that I’m making small circular paintings to be shown at the Winchester Goose, a bar in Chico, CA. After that I’ll get down to business on a collaboration with @Child_of_Wild, painting on bull skulls which should be fun.
Q: What do you want people to draw from your art?
A: Some kind of reaction at least, WAKE UP! haha. The last major project I worked on was a solo exhibition for my undergraduate degree. That dealt with some conceptual ideas, some ruminating from over the past few years. I have always been into pattern in my art. From things I see in nature and from different cultures. So awhile back I started to think about patterns for intangible ideas like time or conscious thought. I thought of time in a basic form as fragments that coalesce, grow and eventually breaks down only to do it all again. ‘Form Rise Fall’ was the name of the installation and it had different patterns and images that led you too the idea without spelling it out for you. In a round about way that’s what I want people to draw from my art, I want them to have to read it, investigate what’s going on and piece it all together. And if what they piece together is nothing of what I was thinking, that’s the beauty in it. Individual perception.
“Form Rise Fall” Installation
Q: How would you describe your style/technique?
A: My style or technique is a bit haphazard and obsessive. Working in nice blends of colors that I see from nature then getting into it with patterns. Maybe the best way to describe it is from an old artist I met, he says, “Horror Vacui, fear of the void, that’s you”. I found out later that horror vacui is Latin and means something like “fear of empty space”. I like to fill it up.
“The Skewing and Diffusion of Pattern and It’s Subsequent Interpretation“
Q: Where you born a natural artist or did you learn through school?
A: I can’t tell. I just found an oil painting from when I was 7, my grandma sat me down with paint and brushes. You know what it was? A landscape and a moon, it was just last night I painted a landscape with a moon, maybe some things won’t die. Anyway, I think I gravitated toward the more creative side of the road. I wanted to be an author when I was in 1st grade and around that time I took a watercolor class from some strange woman in her kitchen, she told me to paint fish and seaweed. So maybe it was in me maybe it was outside influence, I don’t know. I go into graffiti when I was 12 and that’s when art began to consume more time and become prominent. When I was 15 I started drawing daily with my friend Drew Fehlman and that’s when it really became apparent. It was all building blocks I gues
Q: Did you attend art school?
A: I did attend art school. When I first got into college I didn’t want to study art, I thought it would take all the mysticism out of it, all the raw work I wanted to do. But as time went on and I took some classes that were non-art, I realized they felt like a waste of my time. Art school didn’t teach me how to make art or be an artist, it taught me how to work my ass off, to spend 10-14 hours a day in the art studio and produce 20 pieces of art in different mediums in 4 months. It also gave me a community of other artists, which is a valuable thing as well as a whole studio to work in, with 24 hour access.
Q: Any art shows coming up?
A: Hanging new and old artwork at the Winchester Goose in Chico, CA. Its a classy beer bar with some nice woodwork in it and gooood beeer.
Q: Who or what is your muse?
A: The sky about 30 minutes after the sun goes down. Rocks. Weird things on/in the ground. And Music. Music is the fuel.
“Ground Sky and Stone”
“Haphazard of Sea”
Q: Tell us a little about the art installation you did, and the process?
A: When you asked about what I want people to draw from my art I explained the idea behind the installation. But as for the exhibition itself, it was a mixture of drawing/ painting/ screen printing and projection. I wanted to make a space that people could walk through and engage with, maybe sit down and stare at the colors, spend some time in it. It was like I took one of my 2-dimensional paintings and exploded it into the 3rd-dimensionnnnn woooaaahhh! It had a projection running that shifted colors against one main wall. It was set on a loop to be like the cycle of a day to mimic the changing colors of the sky.
“Form Rise Fall Installation”
Q: Who’s your all time favorite artist/inspiration?
A: Dali was my first. The Doors has their time. Max Ernst is awesome. Friends of mine.
Q: You were traveling around Thailand this year, were you there to further your skills as an artist?
A: My girlfriend was set to study over there in the summer. She told me in April and was leaving in May. I thought, how the hell could I get to Thailand? So I found a printmaking studio (which was my emphasis for my degree) and wrote a grant to send me to an art studio in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It all fell together and in July I jumped on a plane and went. I did an Artist Residency at C.A.P. (Chiang Mai Art on Paper) Studio. I hung out with the founder Kitikong and his assistants for a week and made a nice intaglio print (intaglio is a printmaking process). It was great to work with artist from another country, barley speaking the same language. A lot of laughter and learning how they make art. I was also fortunate that the C.A.P. studio was very active and I hung out with an artist from Brazil while I was there and a few others dropped in along the way. After the residency my girlfriend Bethany and I headed south to Bangkok then further south to the islands. I would say though, if going to Thailand, Chiang Mai is awesome, welcoming people and good food.
“Same Soup Different Ingredients”
Q: What would you say is your greatest strength? Weakness?
A: Trying to be a caring, happy and positive person. Which might be suitable for both sides of the question. But, a weakness though, being indecisive and worrying about things I can’t control.
Q: What would you like to accomplish as an artist? Goals?
A: I would like to see where my art could take me in the world. I want to get to a point where I can consistently work on interesting projects with interesting people and not have to live the life of the global economic norm (i.e. 9-5 monotony). I also want to have my art mean something or do something proactive. Weather it be working with non-profits that are working toward making changes in the world or even just changing someone’s outlook when they see a painting of mine.
Q: Anything you do to get in the “zone” while working on a project or piece?
A: A table, dim lamplight and very loud music, to the point where I couldn’t hear if someone were walking up behind me.
Q: What kind of mediums do you use?
A: I love printmaking when I have to materials and means of doing so. But deep down inside I paint and draw. Mixing the two. Laying down color then drawing into it.
Q: Where do you look for inspiration?
A: All around. From the silence of the mountains and desert to the shitty rambling of people on city streets, or a bad infomercial. Just being an observer. Trying to filter whatever it is through my own perception and putting it out as images.
“The Wisdom Rocks of Old are The Souls of the Past”
“The Sun Box Hangs at Night”
Q: Which current artist do you admire?
A: James Turrell is awesome. He’s been around a long time but is still making amazing work. There is also this mural painting duo that goes by Interesni Kazki from Kiev, Ukraine. They do beautiful work.
Q: Where can we find your art/purchase?
A: I’m in the long process of building a website and inventory of prints and paintings. As for now you can go on my tumblr or instagram to look for art and email me with inquires. I also really like doing commissioned work cause its fun to take peoples thoughts and filter them through my brain.
Ohhh….. and be sure to check out his Tumblr for more mind blowing creations!