My decades-long career in contemporary jazz directly informs my work as a visual artist. For me, music has always had a visual component, with the diverse elements of music suggesting colors, shapes and textures. The juxtaposition of abstract shapes, which come together as I work on a book, is very much how I perceive the interplay of melody, harmony, and rhythm. I also feel very strongly that the mathematics and spirituality of music intersect all art forms.
My process in creating sculptural effects with books is continually evolving. When I first began, I sealed the edges of each book and cut through one page at a time, making choices on the fly as to what images I chose to keep. As my technical skills progressed and I gained more confidence and experience, I found this to be a somewhat limiting approach. I wanted more flexibility. In my current preferred method, I harvest the images I am most interested in then add them back one at a time as the composition emerges. I still cut away one page at a time, and always work from front to back. In this way, I have greater control over the placement of each object as well as the direction of the entire composition.
I enjoy working with many types of books; graphic novels, atlases, scientific texts, technical manuals, etc. Each represents a different and unique challenge. I especially relish working with vintage books and encyclopedias. The eclectic photos and illustrations often represent material that is long out of date yet offer a fascinating window into our past. At the same time, the quality and condition of the paper itself often extend their own unique challenge. Ultimately, I hope to provide a perspective on the transitory nature of what earlier generations understood to be factual and offer insight into the way ever-evolving media has shaped contemporary perspectives.

About The Gallery

JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY is a collective environment of creative visions featuring monthly exhibitions of (inter)national, emerging to established, contemporary artists.
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