Alex Jones: Radio Gloom Plays Moody Tunes

Alex Jones

Artwork’s Title: Radio Gloom Plays Moody Tunes

Materials Used: Oil, acrylic, oil bar, oil pastel, graphite, ink on linen

Studio Based: Brighton , UK

Alex Jones, Radio Gloom Plays Moody Tunes, Oil, acrylic, oil bar, oil pastel, graphite, ink on linen, 40.6 x 50.8cm, 2020

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

I sort of end up making quite rigid systems that inform how to go about making a piece, but then I kind of don’t care if a break those rules, if something doesn’t come out quite right if its slightly uneven and throws the work slightly off balance I enjoy that. The blue frame is a recurring motif within the work, this was born out of making text based pieces and looking at the structural space between the text. It was a way for me to make something that felt sculptural, something I hasn’t done since my degree (which was in sculpture). So the aim is to have a rectangular parameter and explore horizontal and vertical features within it, it follows the way we read (left to right, up and down).

How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?

Caring, not caring.

How did you come up with this new painting idea? Is there any story behind this work?

This particular painting is part of series of 8 pieces that were my first pieces made on a stretched surface. I had exclusively worked on wood panel before. The aim was further exploring the variation of the blue frame, making for singular frames and four groups of four. The use of systematic grouping in squares is another rule i use to guide the work. The titles work came out of the text based pieces, I always use titles that contain as many words as their are letters that word, this gives the title a structural property, its becomes a square, and additional form to the work. What the titles depict bare no connection to the ideas within the work its a way of using language to create form.

Do specific artworks have been created by random experiments in your studio or do you always come up with a particular concept or narrative in the very beginning?

The painterly gestures that the blue frame for text sit within are often guided by material encounters in the studio, it might be a stain or scratch on a piece of wood or the fibres that make up MDF. This is like the materials language, its dialect which I place within our own language.

Is there any particular theme that utterly triggers you to engage your art with?

There isn’t anything in particular that drives my engagement, its often in that instant moment, does it look good, am I enjoying the experience of it there.

Large or small scale canvases dilemma; are there any kind of standards that drive you to decide which surface length is better fitted for your final painting visualisations?

Most of my work is the size that it is because limits of my studio. Working with language removes any need for reference of site scale. There was great thing Ed Rusha said that words have no size, you can paint word small or large, there is nor frame of reference.

What would be the best way to exhibit your work?

On a wall in a clean white space.

Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?

Ed Ruscha and Christoper Wool are couple of classics that I really like. The Supports Surfaces artists are great too.

Do you ever wonder if additional work was needed, when an artwork’s making process is finished?

I always concerned that things can get overcooked so I’m cautious about doing too much. It just a case of looking and thinking nothing else will make this better so its time to stop.

Which exhibition did you visit last?

Ann Veronica Jassens at South London Gallery.

Which are your plans for the near future?

Working on pieces that multiply the blue frame, they are starting to feel like letters themselves so multiplying them makes words, an irrelevant undecipherable language.

Additional Images

Alex Gets Here Late, Oil, acrylic, oil bar, oil pastel on linen, 40.6 x 50.8cm,2020
Alex Jones, 4X4 COOL, 55 x 94 cm, Oil, graphite and spray paint on MDF,2019
Alex Jones, Pay Bar Tab, Oil, acrylic, oil bar, ink on linen, 40.6 x 50.8cm, 2020
Alex Jones, 4X4 DULL, 55 x 90 cm, Oil, graphite and spray paint on MDF, 2019


All images are courtesy of the artist

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