Over the past thirty years Kim Jones has exhibited his work widely in the US and Europe. Known for his visceral, sometimes controversial performances as the “Mudman” which have occurred on streets, in subways, galleries, and museums, he transforms himself “into a sculpture that is both aggressive and adaptive.” (Jones) Using locally found sticks, cord, and tape he constructs an irregular lattice which he wears, his body usually covered with mud or his own feces.
Throughout this time Jones has created a breadth of two-dimensional works that range from documentation of his performances to skillful introspective drawings. Among these are his “War Drawings,” a continuous series of two-dimensional games played with pencil and erasers. The drawings are most often done on paper but are sometimes worked directly on walls, occasionally through the duration of an exhibition, (as in his last exhibition at Pierogi) thus becoming another sort of performance.
The works in this exhibition will include shirts and jackets transformed into painted, sculptural objects, war paintings, and other works on paper. Regarding the jackets, Jones remarks
When I wear the structures as Mudman I think of myself as a walking sculpture. The shirts and jackets are a continuation of that idea—these are sculptures that I can wear but that also have war drawings on them so they become a walking sculpture with war drawings on their backs. The war drawings are like a primitive computer game…a hand-drawn computer game. Wearing these jackets or shirts is like carrying my thoughts on my back. It’s like a monkey on my back. It’s like a game that’s being played on my back. Or like understanding somebody by the clothes they wear. It’s an outer surface where I become a sculpture, a walking war game. All of those things are going on. What I’m doing is ad-libbing and trying to understand what these things are about but, basically, they’re sculpture that I attach to my body and they become alive when I wear them. Or, they can just be hung on the wall as static sculpture. The spirit behind the war drawings is that they can always change and it’s the same with the war drawings on the jackets or the shirts, the war drawings on paper, and the war drawings that become war paintings. War paint.