Photo: Jonny Moss in Preston, North West

Jonny Moss

Artist, Digital designer, Lecturer / academic, Researcher

My work is 'An enquiry into the appropriation and use of second-hand imagery as a catalyst to the production of works that investigate ideas of meaning, language and authorship . I use the vehicles of Semiotics and Postmodern themes in an attempt to explore and respond to discourse around shifting concepts of language and its anticipated goal of meaning, while authorship of the work is questioned through ideas of originality. Appropriation and collage have become a major concept and way of working within my approach to painting. I have become a 'Bricoleur, a collector of disparate imagery and visual detritus. I scavenge my imagery from the multitude of sources that bombard me on a daily basis, TV, the Web, magazines, the whole range of mass multi media platforms. I have made the conscious decision to use images that have already been created, in this way I open myself up to the charge of visual plagiarism, questioning the originality of my work. The images I work with already exist in their own right and have an original text or meaning. I try to use these images, these visual texts, in 'devious' ways. I attempt to corrupt them and force them into strange and un-natural visual relationships with other imagery through the use of composition and concept. I manipulate and reinvent them, destroy them and hammer them into new forms. Their original meaning is shattered, their new meaning is arbitrary and unstable. The works begin to look like they are becoming decidedly nervous, seemingly uneasy in their new surroundings, creating a new tension between form and content. Their juxtaposition and physical closeness allows the images to become corrupted in their new role as paradigm within the new syntagmatic text. I attempt to introduce a bug into the original meaning/language system through the grafting of unrelated images. It has been my intention throughout my study to make paintings that are an investigation into the physical act of painting, painting processes and the decisions made while making paintings. I am interested in the way form and content often collide on the picture plane and feel that it is at this point information is revealed about the fundamental relationship between the two. This is a point where meaning and language have their debate. In making my work I have always been aware of the problems associated with meaning within imagery. My work has been produced primarily in a way that I see as being meaningless, or at least the meanings or meaningful relationships are arbitrary. I see this as a parody of the kinds of information that we receive from mass media platforms and their multitude of juxtapositions, both visually and conceptually. What you are left with is a cacophony of visual noise, unable to discern any one thing within the mêlée. The meanings become meaningless. Like the chanting of a single word, its meaning eventually dissolves into an abstract noise from which we receive little information. Because I use a range of images that are scavenged from different sources, I feel that my work also has to be linked to the ideas around originality. It is, after all, the work of another photographer or painter that I am referencing or working directly from. This I feel requires the idea of my work as being 'original' to be questioned. read full statement

Location Preston, North West
Activities Further education, Lecturing, Practice-based research, Private commissions, Curating
Artforms / type of project Painting