Jonas Mayer is a German artist (b. 1995), who lives and works in his hometown Saarbrücken Germany. His style can be described as a mix between detailed figurations and primitive childish elements. With the ambition to experiment and explore new textures he creates a very unique and emotional scenery in whose his characters often seem to be archaic and antique. His interest to observe and study textures, structures and shapes may has its origin in painting walls in abandoned factory buildings for a long time. Trying to find a proper way to combine his paintings with the surface of old rusty, metallic or dusty old brick walls, he transfers this challenge to his canvases by giving them a rough-plaster-like structure.
As he used to work as a graphic designer before studying Fine Arts, the observer can notice several historically graphic influences like Russian poster art of the 20th century as much as as the childish and primitive style of the origins and beginnings of the world’s Folk Art in general. By being oriented towards these influences he uses his formation and typical symbolics to make the viewer aware of human’s discrimination against individuals, capitalism, influence of advertising and its mass consumption as well as human’s alienation from nature and social contact. Although his paintings make contemporary sceneries as subject of discussion, they seem to picture old static stone sculptures from a long forgotten past time, to represent the emotional reflection of his proganists’ existence as they were their complementary alter egos.
Jonas Mayer’s practice always starts with a wild, thick and quick underpainting till he feels exhausted and tired. Only then he is calm enough and focused to start with a first idea or composition of the painting which always starts by sketching directly onto the canvas. By adding colour and layer over layer he slowly shapes his figures and sceneries, not knowing if the composition and formation of the painting itself will be still part of the result. By acting very intuitive every component of his paintings can change or disappear, as well as new things can spontaneously pop up, nothing is fixed or reserved. While painting his thoughts are completely focused on the action of painting itself, the feeling and awareness of composition, colour and stimulation, what makes it very difficult to reflect his own works. Only after finishing a painting the main reflection follows, as well as titles.