Lamar Jones Manhattan


Lamar Jones

Lamar Jones, (b. 1989) is an American painter, whose work reflects contemporary life from a black American's perspective. Through portraiture and mixed media, Jones depicts energetic celebrations of black existence in leisure. His paintings meet somewhere between realistic depiction and raw abstraction, incorporating text, motifs, and symbols rendered on canvas.

Jones paintings often engage in dialogues with self identity, family, love and black American life. His work is a counterpoint to the romanticized idea of American life contrary to the experience living within a black body under structures of Western culture. Jones has exhibited in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York, Maryland and Chicago, with collectors internationally. He currently lives and works between Los Angeles and New York City.

“In my artistic practice, my focus has been to broaden my painting techniques by manipulating all mediums to further express my humanity. As my style progressed over the years, the constant events of life continued to inspire me to create art. Living in modern day America, my works embody the feelings, or seemingly lack there of, surrounding black figures throughout history. For me, there has always been a clear dissonance between how I feel and how it seems my emotions and actions are perceived by others. My works are a visual representation of the essence of being a person experiencing life within the black body: how one perceives themself juxtaposed with how society values a person’s existence. What can this tell us about ourselves as a people and community? And more importantly, what non-refracted conversations can be had to create a healthy space for people to live? This focus on having people of color be seen transparently in a world where they are so readily stereotyped, even in introspection, is the driving force behind my work.

My works are created through a fast-paced painting style to prioritize the organic and visceral process in creating art that deeply resonates with me. Through my art I achieve a better understanding of my own identity as an American man of color. I utilize oil based materials on large scale canvas to accentuate visibility. The goal is never to force the message, but instead guide the viewer to appreciate the story being told in front of them. I incorporate bright and bold color pallets in my works to increase awareness and invoke human emotion within my viewers. I want my audience to connect their individual experiences with my art to the inherent beliefs indoctrinated by media and socioeconomic systems.  

The core principles incorporated in my most current works are community, nature, and growth. The landscape elements in my work allows for black bodies to be seen naturally and simply existing beyond the socioeconomic stratosphere that has been created. Growth and sustainability tie heavily into nurturing a people in the same way you would nurture the natural world around you. We all need sustenance to survive and thrive.”