It is hard to summarize what Ben Jones does. One, overly broad, way to describe his work is that Jones creates genre defying art in a wide range of media, and within his oeuvre there are a lot of nooks and crannies, each of which has its own special ideas and charm. His creative work has been enthusiastically followed by artists since the late 1990s through zines, underground animations, painting and sculpture. I remember seeing something called Paper Rad on the internet around 2003 or 4, and being mesmerized by the bold drawing and color, and, not to be cheesy, but there was also a contagious sense of joy. The imagery remixed pop culture with high cultural stuff like abstract painting. A few years later, towards 2007, the broader popular culture became aware of Jones through his animated television series Problem Solverz, and more recently his new series entitled Stone Quackers. All of the work seems to hover half in the subconscious, placing seemingly real and present iconological formations alongside impossible or wonderful subconscious riffs. In Jones’s work it feels like half the colors are colors, the other half are memories.
Jones has a new exhibition opening Saturday July 11th at Ace Gallery in L.A from 7 to 9pm, and you can see the show until September. This is a major show that is going to transform the gallery. You will be immersed in both high-tech painting and the ladder sculptures we discuss in the interview. His televison show, Stone Quackers, has recently aired new episodes on FXX in the Animation Domination block, and you can see his animations all over the internet and on Hulu.
Wyld File is a group of Flash animators creating work that’s pretty much in the same vein as Paper Rad‘s stuff. In fact they may very well be the same people, judging from the amount of times Paper Rad is referenced on Wyld File’s website. I think my favorite part of their gimmick is their parody (I think?) of Dogme 95, purporting that their brand of Flash animation is revolutionary and pushes Flash to its limits.
As Paper Rad puts it ,”A lot of cool shit was done in Flash, but there was never anything really that looked so funky that pushed Flash behond it limits, into an arena where the very tools of Flash have eaten themselves and caused a creative process to evolve against all the things Flash isn’t supposed to do.”
Paper Rap insists the loosely based value system “Dogman 99” consisting of the rules “no Wacom tablet, no scanning, pure RGB colors only, only fake tweening, as many alpha tricks as possible”…
I saw Jacob (one part of the trio? I think who makes up Paper Rad, and half of hip-hop-mashing/electro/idkwhat Extreme Animals) Tuesday night at Wildness and yesterday night at the Family bookstore, two stops on his “2 Blessed 2 B Stressed” tour.
I made a list of the things he “live blogged” about: how he was a fan of the Christian band Paramour’s positive messages, the Eddie Murphy and MJ duet “What’s Up With You“. I also grabbed one of the attitude bracelets that he’s so into right now. David of Extreme Animals also showed a synchronized guitar riff + head banging video piece during the Family show which was painful yet ecstatic everlasting repetition.