COUNTRYSIDE JUMPSHOT - JONATHON DOWNING | NYCH Gallery
Exhibiting July 8th, 6-10pm - September 4th 2022
My paintings aim to depict subjects that are simultaneously monstrous amalgamations of portraiture and honest, complex renderings of real people. I utilize these subjects to explore themes of grandeur, perseverance, and the relationship between idol and idolizer. With roots in digital photo montage, the aesthetics of my work range from the urban to the rural, drawing inspiration from professional basketball and the American Frontier. Naturalistic renderings of animals such as horses further the juxtaposition of location and culture, with the associated concepts of power and success becoming evident. The figures I paint are draped in the jerseys of their favorite players, a way of paying homage to those who they admire. These subjects are naturally seen as the idolizer, but upon closer inspection, could be seen as mirror images of the idols themselves, adapting aspects of the latter in search of a singular identity. It is through this relationship, my process, and the aesthetics I curate, that my paintings allow for new conversations to be made about an age-old game, in an age-old country.
These paintings are about identity, pressure and belief. It is about belief in institutions that are trying to shape our reality by concealing their true identity. And it is about the strength of individuals to believe in themselves. Having the strength to endure and overcome influence and troubles and adversity. With all these parties vying for our faith in them, ignoring our trauma, it is difficult to know who and what to believe in. But if trauma shapes our past, belief in ourselves enables us to shape our own future.