Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Essay'd: Jon Strand


(originally published 8/12/15 in Essay'd)

For Jon Strand, making art is a long-distance sport. He is a 21st century pointillist, manifesting his elaborate visions by applying layer after layer of tiny dots to paper with the use of a rapidograph (a technical pen of German manufacture). When he discusses his “ink paintings,” Strand provides an offhand but remarkably precise account of how long each takes to create: 1,874 hours for this one, 717 for that. This tendency toward quantification originated in the formative advice of a curator friend: that an artist should effectively communicate the extent of his labor in order to be taken seriously enough to earn a living wage. But an appreciation of Strand’s work must go beyond its curious and compelling means of execution, because his art, like other long-distance endeavors, is about much more than endurance and technical accomplishment; it is about transcendence.

Read the rest at Essay'd.