artists & participants
Kim Jones was born out of the 1970s performance art movement in Southern California, where he became widely known for his alter ego, Mudman. Caked in mud, bearing a lattice appendage of sticks attached to his back and wearing a headdress and nylon mask, this unsettling, itinerant figure appeared on city streets, beaches, in subways and in galleries. Connecting the abstract, formal investigations of process and material-based artists and the physicality of body-based performance, Mudman evolved from Jones’ early stick sculptures, tightly bound in what would become his signature materials of nylon, rope, electrical tape and foam rubber. Jones uses documentation of Mudman, as well as sculptures that result from performances and installations, to develop an idiom of forms and hybrid creatures that appear throughout his drawings.
On view at the gallery are works on paper, the so called war drawings in graphite, which involve ‘x’ and ‘o’ figures and erasure indicating movement of each force, painted photographic works, many which have been made over a period of thirty years, and sculptural works. A US Marine jacket – Jones served as a Marine in the Vietnam War – or small dolls are transformed in Mudman-like objects and covered with war drawings. The title of the exhibition ‘Semper Fi’ refers to the motto of the United States Marine Corps ‘Always Faithful’. According to the artist, the entire description of the show can be found in the following quotation:
“The story of the twenty-first century will be, in part, the story of the drawing and redrawing of…battle lines, the story of Homo Sapiens trying to stake claim on shifting ground, flanked on both sides by beast and machine, pinned between meat and math.” Brian Christian, The Most Human Human
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