About the Artist

IAN MOHON

I was born a young artist in Texas surrounded by nothing but southwestern art and a general disdain for anything modern in nature. So I joined the Navy as a way to see more of the world and maybe save money for both college and my future. Unfortunately in 1995 I experienced an accident that left me with both a broken arm and a severe head injury that eventually developed into epilepsy. Soon the Navy gave me a medical discharge and college had to be put on hold. After years of red tape and lots of odd jobs I got the help of the veterans association and was able to finish my BFA at the University of Rhode Island.

Photo By Sabrina Strawn

I was self-taught for the most part growing up I was left to myself to develop any style or techniques. With no support early in life for arts it was only after the time in the Navy that I took my first real fine art class, a figure study course at the Dallas Art Institute. My time in this class and the advice from the instructor was an eye opening experience. Suddenly I saw my personal work grow and evolve in amazingly new ways. It has been a long struggle to reach this point in my college career with many stops and starts and many wonderful influences. My whole time through my BFA I saw how through the interactions with instructors, fellow students, and the flow of projects a artists work can evolve in giant strides.

Happily recent experiences over the last few years, has helped me to gain more of a focus on my future in the art world. For the last few years I have worked at various fine art galleries within the Providence area. . My time spent at private galleries has given me a love for the flow and life of a gallery and has allowed for amazing new influences in my own work.

My current series “Shattered Visions: Portraits of a City” focuses on iconic buildings in Providence and it’s historic neighborhoods. Beginning with a fractured jumble of images, I select only those that will provide a broken but truthful representation of the building itself and the personality of the surrounding area. The buildings are imagined from various angles, broken and shifted, with colors both heightened and blown out. This technique gives the works a sense of wonder and confusion as walls move and colors fade; an analogous wonder the city holds with its faded colors slowly resurfacing, as Providence re-builds.

In my figurative series “A Mass of Flesh” I explore the social weight associated with the programmed reactions each of us has when faced with the figure in an extreme state, be it grotesque or diminutive.

Working from both live models and photographic references, I use high contrasting colors and tones to push/pull the depth of each work and accentuate the weight of presence in each figures pose. The un-adorned background helps to focus attention on the essence of each figure allowing the work to capture the viewers gaze and hold it fast with it’s own gravity.

Not typically a figurative artist, this series was a wonderful exploration for me that stretched over the last year. Each work was executed with thin washes built up from a arbitrary base color allowing for a vibrating density. Once the figure is established all highlights are re-worked heightening the contrast even more. Finally the background is worked over in a high key tone as a last step in merging the separate tones into one cohesive image.

 

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