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Benjamin Jones Speaking Retrospective
11am - 5pm
Guest Curator: Barbara Archer
February 15 2020
2PM – 5PM
About BENJAMIN JONES Speaking
Organized in seven enticing themes, Benjamin Jones Speaking spans 40 years of making art including fresh work never seen before.
Jones continues to hone his distinct visual language as a thought-provoking force for change. “I want people to feel the rage and to fight injustice in today’s crazy world,” Jones says. “The drawings are my way of screaming out, hoping to make another person speak out, and then another.”
As a keen observer of current events, Benjamin Jones keeps intricate journals. He mines images clipped from magazines, newspapers and his travels, then recycles this source material into his drawings.
Parallels have been drawn between Jones’ work and graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet and young Pablo Picasso. Each influence gave Jones new tools to break the rules and discover a visual voice undeniably his own.
Mixing whimsy with horror, humor with malevolence, Jones’ haunting creatures speak to life’s paradoxes and struggles, compelled by the artist’s internal urgency.
Inhabiting an intriguing, indefinable space, each poignant portrait reveals a glimpse of Benjamin Jones’ own innermost feelings and insecurities, while touching a familiar place in all of us.
About Benjamin Jones
Born in Atlanta in 1954, Jones received a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of West Georgia. His work is in many museum collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Indianapolis Museum of Art; Atlanta’s High Museum of Art; the J.B. Speed Museum in Louisville; the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia; the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans; and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia.
Jones received a 1994 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Southern Arts Federation. In 2003, he was awarded a grant from the prestigious Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation in New York and is the only artist in Georgia since 1979 to receive the honor. In 2006, Jones made his international debut at ArtLondon. He was a featured artist in Drawing a Diversion at London’s John Martin Gallery in 2007.
Jones recently returned to making art with renewed conviction after a hiatus of several years while caring for his mother and recovering from his own health issues. His current collaged drawings exude edginess and poignancy while conveying a sense of peacefulness and calm inspired by his new home on Tybee Island, Georgia.
Jones is represented by Whitespace in Atlanta; Henry Boxer Gallery in London; SHRINE in New York and Laney Contemporary in Savannah.
Featured image: Invasion (Decline of Civilization Series), 1995, Graphite, colored pencil and paint on wood, 40.75 x 80.75 inches, Collection of the Artist.
MOCA GA is grateful to the individual donors and those who supported the 2019/2020 Legendary Retrospective Series through the Power2Give campaign run by the City of Atlanta – Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs:
Harvie and Charles Abney, Linda & Jim Alexander, Judith M. Anderson, Barbara Archer & Peter Hand, Susan Bridges, Marcia R. Cohen, Laney Contemporary, Louis Corrigan, Sandy D’Aprile, Steven and Catherine Fox, Susan Gwinner, Rick Kaye, Judy Lampert, Marianne Lambert, Amy Landesberg, Elizabeth Lide, Tom Meiss, Fabio Rossi, Rob Smulian, Hilton Spence, Elizabeth Spiegel, Stephanie Sudden, Stephen Swicegood, Hal Vaughn, Julie Wallace, Jane Weinmann, Allison Claire Wertheimer, Andrea Weyermann, and Robert Woodhurst
A special thank you to The Judith Alexander Foundation and The LUBO Fund for supporting this exhibition!
Artist Benjamin Jones talks about his work and life in this film produced Produced by Houpla.