Todd Jones

Born 1992, United States

Lives in: Athens, Ohio, United States

Describe your art in 3 words: Mistints, sculptural, paintskins

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"I am creating a visual language with wasteful commodities that allows for social critique that raises provocative questions of our consumer society. I am looking at our history and practices through our use of house paint. Through my sourcing of mistints and discarded house paint, I bring attention to these paints as they are manifestations of culture and carriers of invisible memory."

What themes does your work involve?
My work involves themes of consumption, preservation, and the passage of time.
Describe your creative process.
Process plays a central role in my work by paint being salvaged and molded into newfound forms while holding residue of its previous life. I produce series of paintings and sculptural forms that allude to the process of sedimentation and excavation. Through material transformations, I reformulate the paints into a visual record of their history by pouring layers to create strata-like forms. Each layer of paint is poured and given time to dry in preparation for the next layer. Through the repetitive actions of layering and carving, I am building and exposing the layers through excavation and examining the layers and their histories. This process of unearthing functions to uncover buried intentions and show the passing of time.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I am influenced by mistint house paint representing consumer culture and reflects our lifestyles, advertising, and consumerism. Mistint house paints are found orphaned in hardware stores, unused or returned by customers not satisfied with the finished product. These paints are left behind and sold at a lower price. For me, these mistints and leftover paints represent a consumer's hopes and dreams. One buys house paint to decorate quarters in their home to add desirability, enhance a home's sophistication, or create comfort in one's limited space. I make art because I have a love for making and having more extensive discussions about contemporary culture. I create a visual language that challenges the viewer's association and perception of these materials.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Good art can start a conversation and contribute to the dialog of society. I am personally drawn to material explorations and art that push the boundaries of one medium into another.
What is the role of the artist today?
An artist's role to be true to themselves and to influence society for the better. Art plays an essential role in shaping the culture of a society. Art in contemporary culture is a dynamic blend of materials, methods, concepts, and subjects that challenge the traditional boundaries of art-making. Contemporary art reflects the modern culture and provides the resources to discuss current ideas and issues. The audience plays a crucial role in the artwork by contributing their personal experiences, opinions, and interpretations.


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist