With its clean, razor sharp aesthetic, Jonathan Rozo’s work exemplifies the beauty of simplicity. What lies behind this effect of simplicity, however, is a great deal of effort. Jonathan uses painstaking detail and materials like high gloss resin to create the sleek, minimalistic aesthetic you see in his paintings. While undeniably modern, there is also something organic about Jonathan’s work that feels like a breath of fresh air. Many of Jony’s works feature animals depicted in a highly stylized but natural manner, and even in his more abstract works, the shapes on the canvas seem reflective of nature. The way Jony has managed to embody and interpret the mantra of ‘less is more’ is why we’ve chosen him as this week’s Artist You Need To Know.
Jonathan Rozo was born in New York, but is a native of Atlanta having lived there for 25 years. Both his parents were first generation immigrants: his mother from Colombia and his dad from Italy.
Vango: Why do you do what you do?
Jony: One, because it’s my passion. Two, because I honestly, at this point, don’t think I could ever do anything else. Three because I’ve got to eat.
V: How would you describe your work?
J: Edited, restrained and designed to evoke or convey a specific emotion or statement. I try to maintain a very objective, clear perspective, and it is always evolving.
Longwools in progress
V: What are some of the techniques you use?
J: I create my own techniques that are unique to me. I use a Sharpie, every single time, and start with outlining and light shading. Usually, I then color in the form of light acrylic washes so I can build deep, rich colors. I preserve most pieces with a high gloss resin, or a spray lacquer to ensure durability and non-yellowing art over time. I love creating and mixing medias in my own creative way. Building my own aesthetic and seeing it evolve and change is something that brings me satisfaction.
V: Who are some of the biggest inspirations on your art?
J: Monet, Paul Kramer, Animals (!) and my Mother.
Iconic Chair Collection
V: There are distinct themes in your work, as seen in your series’ of animals and the ‘Iconic Chair Collection’- What draws you to these?
J: I am a fan of negative space and simplicity with my work. “Simple design isn’t simple” is one of my favorite quotes. I love a clean, almost razor sharp foreground and background with a very objective or figurative subject/object, which is why I choose to depict subjects like animals.
V: What artistic style(s) might you classify your work under?
J: Bold, Reductive, Classic, Quirky (some sense of wit), Literal, Never Busy and, oh yeah, never busy.
V: Out of all your works, do you have a personal favourite?
J: Longwools is my favorite because it’s the largest, best representation of my most successful and eponymous sheep collection. It is really one of the defining references to my aesthetic.
V: Do you like listening to music in the studio? If yes, what are some of your favourite artists/albums to listen to?
J: It depends on my mood, but usually something upbeat with a Spanish flare gets my creative juices flowing.
V: What is something you like to do when you’re not creating?
J: Tennis! I love playing anytime I have a free moment.
More of Jony’s Work…