Caldwell Snyder Gallery is pleased to present Fragments, a solo exhibition of recent paintings by Bay Area-based artist Ryan Jones, on view from April 16 – May 7, 2022. Through a fragmentation and reconceptualization of vintage ephemera from American popular culture, Jones’ latest compositions refract our modernity through lenses of the past.
Evidenced in the artist’s storytelling methods is his early training in the Matte Painting Department at Industrial Light and Magic—George Lucas’s motion picture visual effects company—where a young Jones was tasked with painting lifelike backdrops for film sets. Cinematic references abound in Jones’s luminous compositions, captivating audiences on albeit a smaller screen. Through his trademark use of a divided canvas, the artist renders a series of scenes into what he describes as an “accumulation of experiences,” saving space for the viewer to imagine each work’s ultimate narrative.
The evocation of emotion through commercial imagery forms the essence of Jones's work, employing strategies of Pop Art in an inquiry into materialism and connoisseurship. Classic cars, watches, and other coveted items make frequent appearances within the artist's paintings, with the artist's deft hand capturing the immaterial auras of consumer desires. Appropriating visuals from films and advertisements both old and new, the artist parses the imagined lifestyles associated with these luxuries, lending appreciation as well as wonderment to these artifacts' seemingly timeless appeal. Equally seductive and mysterious, Jones's paintings explore an evolution of American cultural taste, noting both the staying power of certain symbols of affluence as well as their evolution in meaning.
In revisiting imagery from previous decades, ranging from cars no longer manufactured to film stills from the Golden Age of Hollywood, Jones's juxtapositions prompt a reimagination of the figures and iconography cast within them. Rather than foregrounding nostalgia, the artist's illustrious tableaus extend a paramount inquiry into the genealogies of contemporary media, offering a much needed pause amidst the rapid speed of content creation and circulation within today's digital landscapes. On display in Jones's paintings are not only the objects of materialism, but the use of film and advertising to shape commercial wants. By renegotiating our relationships to visuals of the past, Jones asks viewers to reflect upon how images are read and consumed today, suggesting the valuable lessons to be gleaned from that which informs our present.
ABOUT RYAN JONES
Ryan Jones is an American artist known for contemporary realist paintings. Born in California in 1981, Ryan lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. His artistic journey began at a young age and was influenced by his study of art at Stanford University where renowned artist Enrique Chagoya provided mentorship. Primarily self taught as an oil painter, after college Jones worked as a matte painter for George Lucas on scores of Hollywood films where his eye for cinematic intrigue helped mold a distinct lens through which he viewed the world. Jones’s work now embraces and challenges the traditions of realist painting with an exploration of contemporary practices and observations. His artwork is included in a number of prestigious private collections and has been showcased in galleries, museums and art fairs around the world.
ABOUT CALDWELL SNYDER GALLERY
Specializing in exhibiting diverse genres of contemporary fine art, Caldwell Snyder Gallery has been established since 1983 in San Francisco with additional locations in Napa Valley and Montecito. As an active member of the San Francisco’s Art Dealers Association, collectors from California and around the globe have been discovering exciting new artists and acquisitions at Caldwell Snyder Gallery for nearly four decades.