Jon Todd‘s paintings have been described as pop surrealism but frankly I think his work goes further than that, its origins lie in an older art from. Tattoos. When looking at his work it’s clear that each image is made up of symbols and motifs taken from many cultures – in the same way tattoos are – including those from Asia, Northern Europe and Mexico.
Into this potent mix Todd has brought a contemporary street art sensibility, an aesthetic that delves into the big global themes of our time – such as war, corruption and inequality – and reflects them through the prism of decorative art. You might say a folk art, an iconographic response to the psychosis of contemporary society.
Not content to merely paint on canvas Todd often works on found objects, makes collages, wood block cuts and screen prints all charged with a highly personalised visual language that he renders in bright bold colours. This is in your face work that asks you to decipher its message, challenges you to work out it’s mysteries, imbues the space with a mythic quality that is timeless yet of its moment. Here’s a statement from his site:
His work represents timeless depictions of social issues and pop culture iconography, both past and present. While exploring themes of war, corruption, and internal struggle, Todd uses as many mediums as possible as a part of his creative process. Todd regularly de-stresses his works using various chemicals, scratching tools and belt sanders. mixed media paintings resemble kaleidoscopic mosaics charged with iconography. These highly personal reflections, despite their vivacity, primarily deal with issues about misguided stigmas, psychosis and miscommunication.