the montresso foundation* shows in its art space from december 2, 2017 a collection of paintings by the most french of american artists, jonone.
john perello was born in 1963 in harlem, new york city. he began his artistic practice in the street at a very young age, tagging his name jon and his street 156. he likes to say that “the new york subway was a museum that was crossing the city. in 1987, he arrived in paris and began painting on canvas in a studio of the « ephemeral hospital ». from then on, he keeps on exhibiting all over the world.
for more than 30 years, jonone has been questioning the same problematic of the urban environment, the explosion of norms and nonconformity. to enjoy jonone’s painting, one must not love painting that illustrates, but the painting for itself, in its materiality, its radicality.
intense and brutal, jonone’s painting exults. the canvas serves as a screen that calls for the possibility of liberation, in an ultimate body to body with the artist. in the beginning there is the white canvas, then the drips and jets of paint, a pause, he simply stirs the colors in his pots, until, suddenly, he returns to the painting … in this progressive, exhausting and endless dance, a fever of painting seizes him. the fierce creation that superimposes layers of writing until the unreadable is fascinating for the viewer. by creating those subtle layers, loaded with an undeniable graphic force, jonone seems to deliver a sound painting, the one of our cities. in his obsessions, he chants his name by repeating it on the canvas. between improvisation and composition, his works reveal intimate signifiers, a search for a subtle balance between abstraction and nature. each work carries with it an energy, a rare dynamism that seems to revive the body of the letter, the strength of the word.
in morocco, he draws a deep inspiration and pushes the possibilities of the mediums he uses to their paroxysms. the material largely escapes from the canvas to land on the floors and walls of his studio at jardin rouge. the lattice generated by the flows of material on the canvas induce a certain automatism of the gesture which serves to break any distance between art and life. the viewer can then simply enjoy contemplating rather than watching what is seen.
jonone “a dream longer than night”
espace montresso*, marrakech
from december 4, 2017 to january 31, 2018.
guided tours on saturdays at 11am on request at firstname.lastname@example.org
Video: Christian Koopmans
Photography: Fanny López