The Hat-Tipping Corner of Abstract Art
By Ng J-Cyn, March 20, 2018
Categories, categories, categories.
We deal with them every day, a quotidian practice that helps our chaotic world get just a little bit more organized. Well when it comes to the art world, with its splendid diversity, categorization becomes even more essential. Even the most clueless person should be able to tell you that if the art world were split down the middle, you’d have two main categories – Realistic and Abstract. And if we put these two extremes on a scale, we would find Receptive Abstract Patternism on the far end of the side of Abstraction. Never heard of that before? No worries, today you’ll be opened up to a new world of art, possibly the genre that is remodeling or sharpening the concept of what Abstraction means in art.
Receptive Abstract Patternism is a fairly modern art movement, emerging from the mountain community of Lake Arrowhead, California, and continues to grow under its founder, Rod Jones, since 17 years ago till date. With a bullet-train-like frequency of roughly one painting churned out per week, or four per month, the diligent machine of creativity gets in touch with the deepest core of his personality, taking viewers on a tour through those castles in the air that he builds. Indeed, art is an intimate affair. And what better way to connect two human spirits than through allowing the viewer to be privy to the artists’ most personal thoughts and emotions than through Abstract art. Fret not, there are no pitch black dungeons with flaming dragons, for Rod Jones is clothed in kindness and keeps his art fleshed of an almost child-like purity. Unlike the hell-like scapes depicted by artists driven by their mental illnesses or depression, Rod Jones’ abstract works, though non-objective, remain fairly rooted in sanity and verity. The transparency of his art only reveals the randomness of his encounters in life, moments of personal growth when Jones find himself slipping into self-reflection. As painting after painting rolls out in front of viewers, there lies a performance of progression; the emotional dance Jones has with his philosophical thoughts.
“Art is an emotional communication”, the hat-tipping artist asserts himself. Viewers are encouraged to listen to their brains – the center of ourselves where feelings generate from. Look with your eyes, feel with your heart, but listen with your brain, for that is where receptiveness is demanded for the art journey to start. A painting can take you far, but it only goes as far as the viewer allows it to. A conversation can never start without the presence of two parties. In this case, an open mind is required of the viewer in order for Jones’ paintings to be what they are – unique Receptive Abstract Patternism works. Otherwise, they will just be like any other abstract patterns. With regards to the hat-tipping, Rod Jones’ humility begets empathy. His works require as much effort, the sharing of his thinking process it is, from the viewers themselves as the artist had invested into the works.
Fortunately, for the unimaginative or self-proclaimed souls out there who lack creativity or a keen eye for semblances of reality, you need not fear. Rod Jones ensures that each and every one of his paintings, which he treats like his precious and individualized children, are introduced with lengthy write-ups describing what they are about. Since they are non-representational works, viewers would not need to wreck their brains to find the real-life images within the patterns. Rather, the appreciation of his works are whole experiences, packages of visual shapes, bold colors, clear-cut lines and the respective informative captions, all of which leave viewers with the choice to embellish the artistic concepts presented to them with their own opinions freely. If you would, sharing your personal take on his pieces is not only welcomed with open arms but encouraged by the humble artist. Unsurprisingly, the movement titled “Receptive Abstract Patternism” was coined by his 17-year-old daughter, as Rod Jones unabashedly admitted. The old saying ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ is apt to recall here; Jones’ open-minded character produced the art movement that requires equal receptiveness in part of the viewer. As an artwork is the window from the artist’s to the viewers’ souls, the artist first has to have a praise-worthy soul, an important element as a foundation to anyone’s success.
Rod Jones’ artistic process echoes a concern of most abstract painters that art has become too planned, too rigid, too counterintuitively rooted into dogmatic rules. His works may appear to be ironically technical in their use of raw and unprocessed subject matter, shapes, forms and colours. However, many abstract art movements, such as Abstract Expressionism and in this case notably Receptive Abstract Patternism, anchor their beginnings into a tabula rasa (or blank slate). The process of producing the painting does not start off with a plan, a specific concept, a title or a date of event. There is no “Eureka” blast that starts off masterpieces like a spark of inspiration. Very much like the journey itself, Jones is prompted by his own intuition, the inspiration so mild and gentle that it is not recognizable. Nature nudges these creatives, in ways the abstract artists themselves cannot specify. But to Rod Jones at the very least, it is this very improvised, unpredictable and flow-like nature that fuels the joy in his artistic identity.
When approaching his works, do not ever miss out on the rich content of his captions. Rod Jones’ works proudly fit the educational aims of certain ancient art movements that were bent on reflecting reality. As though attempting to bridge the unharmonious gap between the self-absorbed and highly emotional abstract paintings of Abstraction-based artists and the commercialized, documentary or historically educational artworks of Representational Art, Rod Jones often includes remarkable and informational knowledge in his works. In “Rosetta Window”, “Unwitting Wildwood” or the most recent “Jardin des Tuileries”, for instance, viewers learn about inconspicuous and often overlooked facts through the magnifying glass Jones has placed on these types of information: an architectural part, a tourist attraction and the field of study, dendrology. His works are hence also almost like a thesaurus, introducing viewers to insignificant but beautiful things in this world and reminds us to remain in awe of the littlest wonders in this big universe. Keeping up to date with his latest works would then be equivalent to receiving paced, palatable and bite-sized fun facts, keeping viewers thirsty, hungry and suspended in anticipation of what Jones has to offer us next.
So, if you ever feel like being taken on a trip around the palace of Rod Jones’ mind, what are you waiting for? Typically consisting of a few main primary, secondary and/or tertiary colors, expect ample repetition of dots, dabs and basic shapes in his concoction of rigid lines, smooth strokes and asymmetrical balance. With what resembles a cropped composition, perhaps Jones’ paintings take on a style that retains influence from his past role as a commercial advertising photographer. Whether or not such connections are true is up to the viewers, you, to analyze. While the visuals are laid out flatly for you to see, and the captions guide you to the artists’ soul, the rest of the story is often left open to the viewers’ creative interpretations. A promising leader of modern abstraction, there is still much growing potential in Reception Abstract Patternism. Will it be the genre that finally allows all from all walks of life, including even critics, to be able to easily appreciate abstraction? Jump into the bandwagon with Rod Jones through social media such as Facebook, Twitter & Instagram (@rodjonesartist) where he posts his regular updates, or understand more from his website through this link, https://rodjonesartist.com today.
Cold on the outside but warm in its embrace, Receptive Abstract Patternism with its inseparable hat-tipping soul guarantees that never again will we see abstract art in an unreachable kind of way.
For additional information or to schedule an interview contact:
Rod Jones Artist – Contact – click here
Studio Manager – Angelica Jones – Contact – click here