By Katy Cowan
Birmingham-based artist Oliver Jones creates photorealistic artwork that examines the flesh and how society views and interacts with it. His highly detailed, large-scale drawings are rendered in coloured chalk, and his current body of work aims to explore the presence of flesh in the media and advertising, and its impact on how we view ourselves.
Jones explains: “The image of flesh is one of the most abundant and influential cues in our modern day lives, yet due to its frequency and industries eagerness to reflect an alternate version of reality these falsities have the capacity within our perception to be accepted as the norm. It induces society to become familiar and accepting of an idealised image that is far removed from the everyday and has accentuated our narcissistic and vain traits prompting a pursuit of perfection or alternate reflection and leads to a shrouded image of reality.”
Given that advertising is one of the most powerful ambassadors of such an image Oliver adopts similar techniques in his work in an attempt to ‘re-advertise’ and exemplify a more common and truthful image of flesh.
Jones adds: “My work is a retort towards the way this improper image of the flesh is advertised, manipulated and exploited, it takes the form of large scale photo-realistic drawings using paper and chalk pastel as their fragile properties reflect and enhance the fragile nature of the flesh but more importantly the application is comparable to the way we apply products, touch and handle skin. It also aims to dispel the immediacy of the instant and technological portrayal of the exterior that we have become accustomed to due to the time taken during the process, application and completion of the piece.”