Artist DAVID JONASON combines his love of desert landscapes and design with a keen artistic talent to create evocative paintings that transcend the angles and shapes of his subject matter. Jonason’s innovative style, which he describes as “Contemporary Cubism “, employs slashes of light and color to emphasize the sculpted shapes of arches, cliffs, clouds, and mesas while integrating elements of both Cubism and Realism into clean lines, strong forms, and bold uses of color. His artistic influences include Cubism, Futurism, Art Deco, Leger, Braque, Juan Gris, and especially the work of the Southwest painter Maynard Dixon.
“The American Southwest has the biggest skies, the ‘reddest’ rocks, the most dramatic spires and buttes,” he says. “Of all landscapes, I love the desert the most. It represents to me the grandeur of nature, a sense of peace and serenity. The stark angular qualities of the Colorado Plateau, in particular, seem to easily lend themselves to cubist interpretations.”
“I believe images of the Southwest are as iconic as the Statue of Liberty,” Jonason says. “The gaping canyons, the cacti, the cliff dwellings, and red buttes – these spectacular locations are so familiar to us. They’re intrinsic to how we see and think of ourselves as Americans.” Jonason’s paintings convey the same sense of limitless possibility and boundless opportunity that fueled Western Expansion in the 19th Century. And though the frontier has long since faded, the American Southwest retains a Wild West feeling where the natural environment prevails.
While vacationing as a child with his family, Jonason was inspired by the countless road trips through the West and Southwest. As an adult, Jonason continues to appreciate the mystery and natural beauty of the desert.
Prior to his career in fine art, Jonason was an accomplished commercial artist. He was represented in the 1980s by PushPin, New York’s trendsetting design and illustration agency. There, he produced coveted illustrations for Fortune 500 advertising and editorial clients. He also worked in television, designing and supervising the production of graphics segments for “ABC World News Tonight,” “Nightline,” and “Good Morning America,” among others.
A native of Los Angeles, David now lives in Mendocino with his wife Michele.