May 21st-June 12th
Modified Arts presents an exhibition of urban portraits and mental landscapes by Jonathan Howard and Scott Allison. The Arizona artists’ new paintings and works on paper explore surreal mental terrain using controlled color palettes, collage, and patterning. Each artist transforms raw imagery and subject matter into subtle and appealing compositions that are simultaneously reflective and energetic.
Inspired by surrealism, existentialism, and social realism, painter Jonathan Howard states, “You can see the good, bad, hopes, dreams, nightmares and ambitions of mankind through examining our urban footprint on the planet.” Through his mixed-media paintings depicting surreal urban landscapes, Jonathan Howard contemplates the fascinating yet mundane figures passed by in daily city life. Immersed in these crowded, yet anonymous street scenes, the viewer is given room to make their own inferences about the figures within the works. Subtle messages lie within textured layers of collage and incorporated text while abstraction and patterning express the transitional nature of the present moment. Through what Howard calls his “endless process of decay, destruction, and rebuilding,” he captures the essence of humanity in flux.
Scott Allison has many influences, ranging from Asian art and graffiti to pop-culture and western classicism. He develops his dream-like compositions organically using mixed media, collage, abstraction, patterning, color and texture. Each work on paper is intimate in size and contains visual references to the creative and destructive processes used in its creation. Autobiographical symbolism in the work, seen in the form of birds, text, and organic shapes, hints at the features of Allison’s own mental landscape.