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Jonas Dehnen

image © Kristof Vrancken
image © Isabelle Arthuis
Jonas Dehnen (1992) was raised in Germany and the United Kingdom. The content of his work takes its raw material from the emblems and constructed visual identities of the communities he grew up amongst. This interest is fed by the dichotomy between individual and collective consciousness, and between the local and the global. Painting serves as the enzyme that allows an idiosyncratic visual digestion of this content. He engages with the tension between this semiotic detritus and the animal satisfaction inherent to the lick of a paintbrush. Objects, figures, and characters emerge out of this, sprouting limbs and putting down roots. Images and ideas are allowed to lose their way in the material reality of paint, erratically repeating themselves and shooting off on irregular tangents. The work often grows beyond its two-dimensional origins, resulting in installations with partially or entirely interdependent pieces. They flaunt their manually created surfaces in a disingenuous display of nostalgia, facetiously hinting at a future romanticism, one for which a rustic authenticity will become the ultimate visual currency.