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moderndallas.net
Special “Eye” to Watch
June Mattingly // contributing art writer

Jonathan Stewart
“New & Improved”
at Haley-Henman Gallery March  26

This solo show is Jonathan's second at Haley-Henman: it places him in the qualifying process of
receiving an MFA degree from the University of Dallas and reintroduces a totally original artistic
satirist and simulator of consumer-product imagery. A critic correctly commented on his first show
that his colored ink covered pretend packages of food, medicine and other common items used
in the home, "create a parody of commercialism - like serious realistic versions of toy Lego sets."
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Jonathan's forte are three-dimensional silkscreen prints paired with corresponding two-
dimensional prints consisting of "off the wall" made-up brand names, buzzwords and
slogans. These stylized art objects light-heartedly play off packaging styles marketers
fill full of puzzling ingredients, impressive claims and scary side effects. The viewer is
encouraged to playfully interact with personally handmade sculptural symbols similar
to Andy Warhol’s assembly-line carpenter-made plywood boxes from the mid-60s.

Warhol's boxes advertising different consumer products need comparison as they
were quite different in their production and symbolism. His Brillo soap pads and
Kellogg's corn flakes were painted and silkscreened with the logos, the finished
sculptures being virtually indistinguishable from their cardboard supermarket
counterparts sitting on the shelves. The blank “machine-made” look of Warhol’s
boxes contrasted sharply with the gestural brushstrokes of the Abstract Expressionist
painters of the time.
Jonathan’s second solo is in the qualifying process of an MFA degree in art at the
University of Dallas reintroduces this young artist as a totally original artistic satirist
and simulator of consumer-product imagery. For his first show here D Magazine
in a complimentary way commented that his colored ink covered pretend
packages of food, medicine and other common items used in the home, “create
a parody of commercialism — like serious, realistic versions of toy LEGO sets.”

Jonathan’s forte, three dimensional silkscreen prints paired with corresponding
two dimensional prints become an “off the wall” parody of made-up brand names,
buzzwords and slogans. His stylized art objects play off packaging styles marketers
fill full of puzzling ingredients, impressive claims and scary side effect warnings.
Rather the viewer is encouraged to playfully interact with personally handmade
sculptural symbols similar to Andy Warhol’s assembly-line carpenter-made
plywood boxes from the mid-60s.
Warhol’s boxes advertising different consumer products such as Brillo soap pads and
Kellogg’s corn flakes were then painted and silk-screened with the logos, the finished
sculptures being virtually indistinguishable from their cardboard supermarket counterparts
sitting on the shelves. The blank “machine-made” look of Warhol’s boxes contrasted
sharply with the gestural brushstrokes of the Abstract Expressionist painters of the time.

“I ask the questions:  Can a package be too annoying?  How stupid can a product
get?  My answers are yes and very.  My creations are the illogical extension of these
phenomena.  It’s not the steak that interests me, but rather the box the sizzle comes in.

My images begin in my head, are sketched and added to in a notebook, then
planned with a computer.  The digital files often include hand-drawn, scanned,
and photographed elements.  After the designs of the images are completed in the
computer, they are separated into different colors, then screen-printed onto flat paper.
The paper is then trimmed or cut, resulting in a print, while boxes require additional
folding and gluing.”
Haley-Henman is located at 2335 Hardwick Street the third left after crossing the Trinity
River on the Commerce Street Bridge headed from downtown in sight of the
Calatrava-designed Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.
www.haleyhenman.com
“Bite-Sized Gotcha!” 2011, 3 D screen-print on paper, 81/4 x 6 x 5 inches
“New!” 2011 3D silkscreen print on paper, 9 x 11 1/2 x 2 7/8 inches
“Air!” 2011, 3D silkscreen print on paper and acrylic, 6 1/2 x 5 x 2 inches