House of Spit and Knees

Works by Cosmo Jones

November 5- December 11, 2021

Central Gallery

Exhibition Statement

I prefer to allow styles, materials, and techniques to drift as I experiment based on instinctual decision making. I feel this gives my paintings their own kind of consciousness. The purpose of my work is simply to allow truths to uncover themselves and then to present those discoveries to viewers. It is up to the viewers to find what is useful to them. This is how I fulfill my role as an artist—by moving into gray areas of reality and mystical states of consciousness in order to bring something back as an offering.

I don’t worry about technique or procedure. If I have an idea, I do it. If I have an affinity in the moment to use some imagery or a adopt a technique, I don’t hesitate. I try not to worry if things “make sense,” allowing my conscious and unconscious desires to emerge, and give my artwork power. It is this exercise in free association or automatic writing on a large and archetypal scale that gives the paintings the capacity to illustrate new or buried ideas, feelings, formative events, etc.

In life and in artmaking, the goal is to apply oneself authentically to whatever it is you are doing. An artist is someone who makes things that are more or less purely the product of their application of will. Things are conceived and brought into being because the artist wants them to exist, and the success of the art is a function of the artist’s power to manifest the work in accordance with their will.

Any interaction with outside forces in art and in life is sometimes thought of as a diminishment of the integrity of the work – a setback or a disaster, dumb luck, or product of happenstance. But it is the artist’s interaction with and reaction to apparently external circumstances that constitutes their place in the world. It is the sincere and productive reaction to these forces that we refer to when we talk about character and authenticity. For the Toltecs, when we reckon with these external forces it is called a “gift of power”. This is most often associated with major events that are considered hardships in one’s life. These disruptions (the bigger the better) are thought of as opportunities to identify where we can strengthen our authentic selves and hone our ability to exercise our will to overcome or transform our lives. This same idea can be applied at smaller scales. Every interaction we have with an external force is an opportunity to practice exercising the will necessary for leading our lives in accordance with our vision of ourselves. Every painting is a similar exercise in which I try to shape a product of and out of my psyche, through will, into something that aligns with my conception of my “work.”

Artist Bio

Cosmo was born on a sailboat in Connecticut, then spent the rest of his childhood in North Texas. He attended middle and high schools concentrating on math and science. Though he had always engaged in making things, it wasn’t until college that he began to view these artistic pursuits as an option for a vocation. Along the way he’s worked in theater as a properties master, as a silversmith in the jewelry industry, as a real estate investor, and as a construction administrator for a major arts festival.

Now he uses the act of painting to allow his intuition and unconscious the freedom necessary to work problems and ideas that the conscious mind has trouble dealing with without undue attachment. He views the act of painting as synonymous with the act of using a magic spell, incantation, or sigil. They are acts of concentrated will put forth into the world with intent to affect change in consensus reality. This change can be in the artist’s consciousness or in the viewer’s. Either way, it is intended to change perception and therefore the experience of reality itself.

Having earned his MFA and gotten a taste for teaching at the University of North Texas, Cosmo is continuing his studio practice and showing his work. He hopes to have opportunities to expand his practice and its reach by participating in residencies, exhibitions, and teaching opportunities. The ultimate goal is a studio and teaching practice with national and international reach and significance.

Gladly Followed in its Fall Acrylic; polyurethane foam; glitter; pigment; clay; fake fruit; tinsel; pins 96 x 87.5 2021