Social, philosophical, psychological, spiritual, historical, and personal energy. All these elements contribute to the power of the works of Jonathan Talbot, an American collage artist, painter, and printmaker. One can find great depth in his collages or simple enjoy them for pure aesthetics. Talbot manages to create a balance between emotional charge and societal analysis.
“I, as an artist, have chosen not to isolate myself from the community, but to make myself a part of the society. Not to respond only to a portion of it, but to respond to society as a whole is my aim.”
- Jonathan Talbot.
Jonathan Talbot describes hir creative process as a joyful struggle which yields great satisfaction.
His mother, the famous artist Helen Talbot, has of course a great influence to his work. As a child, he met some artists like Arthur Lidov, Jacques Lipshitz, Thomas Hart Benton, Alexander Calder.
He doesn’t commit himself to a visual arts career until he was thirty years old. At that time he signed up for “etching 1” at the San Francisco Academy of Art. He also snuck into the San Francisco Art Institute to dip some copper plates since the Academy had no acid baths for copper. He has no art degrees or any other degrees.
Jonathan Talbot prefer collages because he dislikes painting, even if he thinks the raw materials of collage are not innocent. He knows when his collage is done when it no longer asks him, as its nurturer, for more elements.
He start by taking dissimilar elements and arranging them and trying to develop relationships between them. He feels that the responsibility of the artist within a social context is to make some sense of the chaos that we are all exposed to on a daily basis. In most of his collages, he has chosen one theme and allowed it to run throughout the piece, complementing it with everything from scraps of maps and postage stamps to nautical charts and metal pigs. One can find great depth in the collages or simple enjoy them for pure aesthetics.
Check out the Jonathan Talbot website for more about his life and works.