Jon Campbell has been a constant fixture on the Australian art scene since he first began exhibiting paintings of suburban youth culture in the 1980s. Since then his practice has evolved to become one of the more complex examples of Australian Pop art.
"My art and politics are influenced by where I grew up in Melbourne’s Western suburbs. I’ve always been interested in things around me, the local, Australiana, language and rock n roll. I try to represent the overlooked and undervalued. It’s a questioning and celebration of who we are, constructed with a laidback lyricism, an engaging lo-fi aesthetic and a
sense of humour.
My art has been mainly text based for the last 20 years. It’s an ongoing exploration of the visual potential of words through the use of vernacular language and popular culture. In recent paintings, snippets of conversation, argument and dialogue are transformed using the conventions of formal abstraction and graphic design to both confuse the original function of the words and phrases and elevate them to a pictorial object. The negative spaces around the letters become positive. The viewer becomes part of the work as they unravel the text and say the phrase."
With his use of words and phrases as imagery, Jon Campbell captures aspects of his culture that are both lived and observed, that are local, national and international and that can be spoken, written, sung, and read. Campbell’s masterfully realized paintings, cutouts, banners, neon’s, flags and songs demonstrate his love of suburbia and it’s vernacular. Popular music, printing, design and sport also feature heavily in his practice. His works define not only the look of the world in which Campbell lives, but the accent and humour of it’s language and how signs can articulate it’s culture and history. These signs have a beauty and celebration about them that encourages belief.
Jon lives and works in Coburg, Melbourne and is represented by Darren Knight Gallery.
Climarte, Carlton Connect Initiative, Melbourne, group exhibition and street posters. May 5
Melbourne Art Book Fair, NGV, performance and talk. May 1
Album launch, Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, with support from Darren Sylvester, Georgia Spain and Bullshit Rare. March 10
Third Drawer Down, Melbourne, In store performance. March 4
The Searchers, Melbourne, In store performance. February 28
Counter Compositions, Artbank, Sydney, group show. January 21 – April 16
Faux Fair, c3 Contemporary Art Space, Melbourne, group show curated by Tai Snaith. December 2 - 13
PAMELA, Arts Project Australia, performance.
piss farting around, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney, solo show. October 10 – November 7
Jon Campbell, Takeo Hanzawa, Devin Troy Strother, Gallery Side 2, Tokyo, Japan. September 29 – October 31
Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award, Fremantle, Western Australia. September 28 – November 15
Geelong Acquisitive Print Awards, Geelong Gallery, Victoria. August 22 – November 22
Turn up your radio, Trocadero Art Space, Melbourne, group show, curated by Brendan Lee. April 11 - 25
Art Basel Hong Kong, Discoveries Section, Booth C147 with Darren Knight Gallery. Solo show. March 15 - 17
it's gonna take a lotta love, Franklin Street Works, Stamford, Connecticut, USA, group show, curated by Liza Statton and Terri C Smith. March 7 – May 24
Written in Light, Geelong Gallery, Victoria, Australia, group show curated by Lisa Sullivan.
February 14 – May 10