Jonny Small gave AAL students a great Artists Talk in one of our studios recently. He is a an abstract painter, who developed his practice at BA and MFA at Wimbledon school of art. Jonny discussed the way that he works with obscurity and ambiguity to create images which are not directly decipherable to the viewer.
He told students that at the start of his studies at university, he was most interested in portraiture. But he was gradually influenced by his BA tutors, the majority of whom where non-figurative artists. As a result, he his compositions became more ambiguous, and began to slip from distinction. His influences (which can be seen in his approach to painting) include Paul Nash, Futurism, the Horro Vacqui art movement and Vapourwave music!
“My paintings are close to looking like figurative images, but have just fallen out of recognised territory.”
The Artist noted the difficulties of working outside of the support of an institution. Since university, he noted that it is often more convenient to make miniature paintings. Though, smaller canvases aren’t ideal for his practise, as they don’t give the space for a lot of detail.
Since university, and having a break from London, Jonny has found himself returning to portraiture, which might be interesting for Contemporary Portraiture FD students to hear! It was very interesting to hear about the development of the artist’s practise, thank you Jonny.