Jason Evans’s photographs circulate in many worlds, from fashion magazines and websites to record covers and museums, and he’s often interested in subverting the conventions of the genres and venues in which he works. Such is the case with this portfolio of seventeen images, which is the first such series Evans has created for photography collectors.
Evans, whose work was featured in Aperture 210, takes advantage of the nebulous understanding we have of the term photographer, its applicability to artists and amateurs alike. The academic language of the art world is not for him; with Evans’s photographs, visual pleasure reigns over conceptual armature. These works, all titled Monkey Face, are part of his ongoing series Pictures for Looking At, Drawing for Photography. They consist of Evans’s own photographs, to which he has applied brightly colored stickers, mainly from Japan and Germany. The stickers’ patterns are randomly and intuitively generated, and create an oscillation between foreground and background, image and abstraction, pattern and randomness. The resultant works are a workout for the eyes and the mind, a visual exercise that can be understood by everyone who encounters them. As Evans says, “I’d rather see something than look at it, but you can only see by looking. When you really see something you get the feeling.” Over time, the stickers will lose their grip on the photographic prints; they will fall off the surface, collect at the bottom of the frame, and reveal more of Evans’s original images.
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