G.B. Jones


October 10 - November 8, 2003

Together Forever


Crash, 2000
graphite on paper
17 x 14 inches

Paul Petro Contemporary Art is pleased to present a new body of work by Toronto-based artist G.B. Jones. Working in her trademark graphite on paper, and with the help of luminescent safety paint, G.B. Jones’ depictions of car crash scenes capture the atmosphere of stillness that follows collision.What follows is a quote selected by G. B. and then some words from the artist:

“The rites of mourning do not exhaust themselves in funeral pomp and fictions of etiquette, but have a durable and artistic expression in the sepulchral monument.”

-Johan Huizinga,

“The cause of death becomes the tomb, ennobled and eroticised; for a moment union; then oblivion. Technology and flesh intertwined, forcibly merged, crushed together, united and moving towards extinction. Co-authors of their fate.

The speed of the Futurists heads toward a crash. Raised to the level of sculpture first by the Surrealists and, later, others, the appropriated object, the idle vehicle, waits to be contemplated. A relic. A fetish. A shrine. A testament to loss and love. Desire and fortune, brought to a climax, linger in the wreckage amidst the artificial glow of a promise of a future; today's wreck and tomorrow's ruin.

The ruined and decaying monasteries and remote, secluded spots of Caspar David Freidrich's ink drawings are translated into this age while attempting to continue his traditions. To behold private places, to see the moment altered irrevocably, ravaged by circumstances and violence beyond our control and, afterwards, the beauty of decay. Whether discovered by chance or created by fate, the unimagined becomes visible. What was unknown becomes accessible, fleetingly merging with the aesthetic of the present till, once more, it becomes forgotten and invisible to the future.”

-G.B. Jones,
October 2003

About G.B. Jones:

“Stumbling on G.B. Jones and Bruce LaBruce's zine J.D.s in the mid-80'staught me tons, as a writer and a person...Maybe, most importantly. J.D.s gave G.B. Jones, artist, a springboard. Exquisitely focused on the surface and utterly unchecked in its interests, her work in every medium is one of today's greatest amazements.”

- Dennis Cooper,
G.B. Jones (Farm 7; ed. Steve LaFreniere), 1994.

“Paging through the G.B. Jones Retrospective (out of print-ed.) you begin to believe she created the world in six days and on the seventh moved to Toronto. Jones' Toronto is...an anthropologist's dream, a theater of the raw and cooked.... The Retrospective is a cleverly disguised All About Eve both to activate and subvert the privilege of stardom.

I don't want to be Statesocentric about this, but note the Canadian displacement from the 'America' that, say, Tom of Finland staged from his own distance. If we call G.B. Jones the "female Tom of Finland", what does this say about the American fantasy of unlimited sex, power and class privilege both artists satirize and pull apart? The anger's bigger than the subjects it consumes and spits out.

To me, her most striking appearance comes near the end of Bruce la Bruce's No Skin Off My Ass - spraying a giant graffito onto a hoarding, she embodies mystery, skill, defiance, seclusion. She's what the Teutons knew as Lorelei, the river goddess whose spell flooded the banks, maddened the sailors. Her work calls for the insurrection her line predicts; its site is the OK Corral where it's always time for a showdown.”

-Kevin Killian,
G.B. Jones (Farm 7; ed. Steve LaFreniere), 1994.

“G.B.Jones is a provocateur, a 'secret agent who infiltrates an organization in order to invite trouble designed to make it's members commit acts that will incur punishment' (The American Heritage Dictionary). Her goal: Destruction. It's a thankless task, one which requires courage, style, creativity, a keen sense of justice, and sharp intelligence. Thankless, yet necessary.”

-Jeffery Kennedy,
G.B. Jones (Farm 7; ed. Steve LaFreniere), 1994.