'Inanimate' Blake Jones at All Star Press
Strap on your 3D glasses for the Blake Jones art show “Inanimate” at All Star Press in Logan Square, Chicago running from September 28th to October 20th. You’ll want to reach out to grab the popping out art as you’re fully immersed into the work. I spoke with Blake Jones to find out the roots of this innovative, vibrant showcase....
The 3D concept came about after his May show at Rotofugi where artist Lurk found the glasses popped out certain colors like reds and blues while pushing back others. Blake strapped on the glasses himself stating, “that’s how I discovered that it accidentally worked really nice on my work so after showing it to owner of All Star we came up with the idea of creating a giant wall installation for my show.” The wall is much like an I Spy puzzle book where you keep seeing new things the longer you gaze.
Blake was starstruck by the artists who agreed to collaborate with him in various mediums from watercolor, acrylic, woodcutting, spray paint, glass painting, digital, and more. Blake even joked about remaining the show “Outclassed” as he was in awe of these artists. Some of the artist collaborations include Reddor Santiago, Isamar Medina, and Michelle Wanhala.
Blake’s favorite pieces are the collaborations, while also finding them the most challenging. “The real goal was to challenge myself to be as versatile as possible and have my work be a slow drip into theirs,” said Blake.
The other challenge he found, “Oh, also painting on spray cans is really hard.”
The intricate pieces required extensive work,“all the actual work that ended up in the show was created from June to opening night, doing about 1 piece a day every day or so until the doors opened," said Blake. The show included colorful merchandise through a collaboration with Threadless: tote bags, a mug, a journal, pins, and a shirt. The mediums of this show demonstrate the tireless dedication he has to push himself to grow including skateboards, adorable vases (that are sold out), and even small vinyl toys of his characters you could prop on your work desk for a dash of daily joy.
Blake’s characters always seem to come alive on their own, leaving me curious if he wants to implement animation. There was an Easter egg in the back of All Star Press featuring a video that he stated, “Its really just a bunch of process and drawing videos with stuff I've been experimenting with the past year with clips of goofy cartoons splashed in to show the audience some things that I get inspired by.”
For future projects, Blake wants to dive into the medium of animation more as well as virtual reality. “My next real goal is start pushing my art more into the augmented reality world. I have ideas that I’m trying to learn and figure out for future projects,” said Blake. He is also working with some motion designers to create animation while taking it easy and just doing smaller shows for now.
Blake’s desire to always grow as an artist with mediums is what keeps his work so refreshing and stunning. Never a dull moment even with his classic doodles.