You know Ah-Young Jeon’s work when you see it. It’s not subtle, and it is bright.  The LA-based artist creates pop-y and honest works that aim to represent her own state within on our modern, culture-obsessed society. Her ability to throw some of our unspoken, inner-thoughts into our face (see: IAMSUPERIOR), and subsequenting quell the sting with candy land coloring and playful patterning has earned her this week’s title of Artist You Need to Know.

ah-young jeon studio

Ah-young at work on one of her large-scale plexi-glass covered pieces.

After leaving South Korea in 2004 Jeon began studying art in San Francisco where she received both her BFA and MFA in San Francisco. Ah-young’s professional practices have included figurative sculpture, installation and mixed media, her materials including (but not limited to) plastic, paint, match-box cars, google-y eyes, jewels and magazine pages. After Ah-young earned her MFA her perspective on the arts shifted significantly, allowing her to focus and develop her current concepts based mainly in sociological findings. Looking at the entirety of Ah-young’s art is a little like stepping into an intimately created sherbert-colored, well-designed world. We love it, and we think you will, too.

In her own words…

With all new information which thrown out every second I find myself struggling to keep up with the truth. I believe that a heavy information reliant society directly and indirectly effects people’s perspectives, conceptions and values. Elements common in my work range from letters, words creating messages, opening a direct dialog with the viewer, often this participation by the viewer acts as a sort of metaphor supporting my concept. The presentation of the message comes in the form of a sweet body, a message that often can leave you with a sour and bitter after taste.

KABOOM painting

Peeling away the excess material from her block lettering in KABOOM (finished piece below).

KABOOM artwork by ah-young

KABOOM. Wood panel, plastic flowers, plexiglass case, vinyl lettering.

60 Seconds with Ah-young Jeon

V: How do you speak your mind through art?  

A: I am not trying to speak my mind through art. My art is not about me. My focus is more about questioning what’s going on.

V: We live in a crazy world, how has your work aimed to capture that?   

I am trying to be aware as much as I can and try to think and figure out how to accept my current state. And express my findings.

V: Your pieces are both colorful and happy, and direct and dark. Where does this contrast come from?

A: I believe that everything I know has an opposition. Even if I see only darkness I am trying to counter it with brighter colors or mediums. Because the subject is dark it doesn’t mean it is supposed to be dark visually too.

V: How do you come up with the words featured in your work?  

A: I try many words with similar meaning and I play and choose different fonts. The words are part of the design. I get inspired by different words from everywhere I hear, read, see…etc.

V: Describe the current state of your studio in one word.

A: Chaos

V: Was there ever a time when you didn’t want to be an artist?

A: No

V: If you could have your art hanging anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

A: Palace of versailles.

Follow Ah-young’s portfolio here (new stuff coming soon!) and  see what she’s up to on instagram @ahyoungjeon.

A Glimpse into Ah-young’s Art

you are right painting

YOUARERIGHT, 36″ x 48″, acrylic, varnish, and paint on canvas.

i am superior painting

IAMSUPERIOR, 36″ x 48″, acrylic, varnish, and paint on canvas.

utopia is here

UTOPIA IS HERE, 36″ x 48″, acrylic, varnish, and paint on canvas.

danger past god forgotten

Danger past god forgotten, 48″ x 36″, casted numbers, wall paper, varnish on wood panel.

originality mixed media piece

ORIGINALITY, 8″ x 10″, paint, stars, magazine, stickers, plastic, tape on canvas.

coca cola art

COCACOLA, 8″ x 10″, glitter, paint, acyrlic, magazine, sticker, tape on canvas.


Need more? See her full portfolio >