David Jonason’s work is inspired by the austere beauty of the American Southwest and the aesthetics of cubism and art deco. His love of stark landscapes began in childhood on family rock hunting trips to the Mojave and Anzaborrego deserts in California. “I love the desert for its lack of clutter,” he says. “All that empty space allows you to see the forms with much more clarity.”
Early in Jonason’s painting career he was drawn to the volumes of architecture, cubism and the Taos Society of Artists. Jonason considers his style to be a fusion of cubism and realism. He explains, “The severe angular shapes of the American Southwest are a perfect expression of this aesthetic that
I love in cubism.”
Jonason paints in oils using gradations to express form. “I don’t really like a lot of texture in the paint,” he says. “I want my works to have the clean, graphic qualities of travel posters from the 1920s and 1930s.”
Prior to his career in fine art, Jonason was an accomplished commercial artist. He was represented in the 1980s by Pushpin, a trendsetting design and illustration agency in New York. There, he produced illustrations for Fortune 500 advertising and editorial clients.
In addition to landscapes, Jonason has painted cacti, birds and skulls for his upcoming Desert Icons show, held March 28 to April 11 at The Marshall Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona. On November 8 Manitou Galleries in Santa Fe, New Mexico, will open the exhibition Southwestern Synergy featuring Jonason’s work.
Heroic Quail, oil on canvas, 24 x 18”
Hollyhocks, oil on canvas, 24 x 20"
Cool Drink, oil on canvas, 36 x 24”