Jon Key (NYC special episode)

Talk Art New York!!!! Russell & Robert meet multidisciplinary artist Jon Key. Key is a queer black man originally from the small rural town Seale, Alabama now living and working in Bushwick, NY. A writer, designer and painter, his work excavates the lineage and history of his identity through four themes: Southerness, Blackness, Queerness, and Family. Through the process of writing, photography and painting, Jon’s work is portrayed graphically through four colours: Green, Black, Violet and Red. Respectively, these colours intertwine memory and intimate recounting of the four pillars grounding the work.

We discuss his breakthrough 2019 solo show at Rubber Factory, followed by the group show 'Punch' at Jeffrey Deitch NY curated by artist Nina Chanel Abney (who collects Jon's work), his twin Jarrett Key (@jar.key, also a painter & performance artist), why he frequently paints self portraits and making the series of work 'Man in the Violet Suit' as a response to the 2016 Orlando USA shooting at the Pulse queer nightclub. We discuss his graphic design work with @MorcosKey (with Wael Morcos) for brands such as Nike, MoMA, New York Times, and his love of artists including Klimt, Picasso’s blue paintings, Charles White, Romare Bearden's collages, art directing influential black queer LGBTQ lifestyle magazine 'The Tenth'. Jon is a co-founder and the design director of Codify Art, a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist collective whose mission is to create, produce, and showcase work that foregrounds the voices of people of colour, highlighting women and queer people of colour.

You can see Jon’s paintings this weekend in Miami at Untitled Art Fair at Steven Turner LA's booth, running until 8th December .

Follow Jon on Instagram @jkey13 or visit his website to learn more. View images of all artworks discussed in this episode @talkart. If you enjoy listening to Talk Art, please leave us a review at Apple Podcasts or drop us a line


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