Chelonis R. Jones
Heavy celestial bodies, dancing surfaces and bright colours seem to be put on the canvas without concept – that is what Chelonis R. Jones’ paintings look like at first sight. But the expressive manner and colourfulness mislead the beholder. Only after a more careful observation doesit become clear that they are neither cheerful nor superficial. They are not amusing, they are shocking. In “Caligula”, various thick, colourful lines rotate across the painting. They condense to form the head of a fishlike creature with sharp teeth and an eye that seems to stick out of the canvas. Paintings that appear less threatening are those with characters from children’s TV series like “Bert and Ernie” and “Peanuts”. Nevertheless they seem to be helpless and have lost their childlike ease. Legends and historical figures play an important role in Chelonis R. Jones’ works as well. He employs artistic means to emphasise contrasts. In “Max Lorenz” and “Onassis”, he places a straight, hard black-and-white bar below vivid areas and expressive colours to exaggerate an effect that was already used by Vincent van Gogh. Upside down letters at the top of “Onassis” read “This is not a painting” in the style of René Magritte. Dadaistic writings and single letters are scattered all over Jones’ works. This artist does not follow any clichés. He tackles even inconvenient subjects: the painting “The end of the world is nigh” depicts a whale that reminds the beholder of environmental disasters and climate change. Chelonis R. Jones utilises professional techniques and refers to art history and philosophy. In one painting, he hints at futurism and tooth like shapes used by Wassily Kandinsky. It is called “Grrr” – a very characteristic title for his art. There is a lot to be found in his works, stories that take some time to be discovered.