Fear & Play: Paintings by Jonathan Lux
Fear & Play Paintings by Jonathan Lux
The narratives in Jonathan Lux’s expressive realist paintings are at times both playful and sinister. He juxtaposes alternate and often competing realities within the same composition. Among the disparate images depicted in the works are: children donning animal masks while playing spy games, adults being held hostage in an undisclosed location, aerial views of buildings, and an assortment of toy figures and structures arranged in various environments. He often creates small-scale models of mid-20th century buildings, ranging from schools to drive-thru dairy stores, that serve as source materials for the paintings. These domestic and public spaces are backdrops for a world that hovers between imaginative child’s play and perilous activity. The artist leaves the viewer to sort out these puzzling narratives. Are the subjects merely engaging in theatrical games or is real danger imminent? In addition Lux’s paintings reflect his interest in film, the pervasiveness of surveillance in contemporary society and his affection for mid-century architectural design. Jonathan Lux lives and works in New York City. His works were recently featured in a solo exhibition at the Crisp-Ellert Art Museum.