PAINTING | MIXED MEDIA
I often think of art in terms of “Terra incognita" - Latin for "unknown land"; and a label used in ancient mapmaking for regions that no human has ever visited or documented. A place unknown to any human still holds powerful sway over the imagination. It is intriguing that the ancient mapmakers who originally wrote this phrase wrote it as much as a warning as a statement of fact. Perhaps it takes courage to go into the unknown and risk it all; for beyond the known, “there be dragons”.
In one sense we already live in the Terra Incognita. The world of increasingly strange digital simulations and virtual realities that are endlessly multiplied. This takes us to places no one has gone before. Though the exterior world has been mapped extensively, It would seem that there are more Terra Incogniti today than ever before.
I paint abstractly in order to merge unknown experiences within known concrete objects. These collusions are like inserting a bit of the journey’s dust into the map. Abstraction is an invitation to travel to an unknown land, with its own strange customs and sayings. It is another way to say, “This painting is a new place I’d like to visit, a journey of surprise and wonder”. The language of abstraction is how I hope to keep the visual map mobile for both the viewer and myself.
— Kenny Jones
Kenny Jones' art career has spanned over 30 years. In that time, he has received grants and awards for work as diverse as time-based installation, concrete sculptures and abstract paintings. Alongside this praxis he has taught more than 20 different art courses at the college level including art history, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, painting, design, and sculpture.
Jones’ working studio process has always involved following visual “accidents” in order to be led to unexpected places, some see a layered improvisational aesthetic at work-something akin to jazz performances. Besides music, Kenny’s interests were forged by the childhood bliss of running wild in creek beds of Plano, Texas as well as visits to art and science museums. This contrast between extravagant nature and urbane culture still informs his art. Besides art theory, Jones enjoys keeping informed on science issues: high-energy physics, astronomy, and neuro/AI research. He currently shares a studio space with his partner and fellow artist Polly Jones in Abilene, Texas. He often visits the Hill Country where family resides and still enjoys the wild creek beds.