The work of Jonas Criscoe explores the relationship of abstracted city landscape with everyday objects and signage. Each Collage is piecemealed together with found objects and signage creating an intriguing and complex composition. At first encounter, a Criscoe Collage may seem very foreign, but as one studies a Criscoe piece and lets the image speak, the work becomes intoxicating and even addicting. There is an element of Criscoe’s work which screams innovation because it is so different from what is normally seen in the modern art world, but at the same time this element is so elementary and simple that it seems too intuitive too be innovative. Simplicity of material and production is at the heart of Criscoe’s work, but the complexity lies in the composition and overriding themes.
After receiving an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design, Criscoe moved to South Carolina where he let the deteriorating cityscapes influence his work. There is a certain Flavela like quality to his work which is emphasized by the recycled materials and the staple work which hold together each piece. Each collage is mounted on a plywood box which complements the cityscape environment that the patchwork composition imitates.
I would describe my own preference for Jonas’s work as an acquired taste, which grows and ever expands with each viewing and encounter.