Words & Wonders: The Artwork of Jason Limon
In Jason Limon’s eccentric menagerie, quizzical creatures pose for us in their own strange world of words. They have the air of an odd and desperately whimsical circus, with typography spelling out a single word juxtaposed against oddly smiling critters and their elements of magic and wonder. Limon’s early career as an award-winning commercial graphic designer now serves him well as a painter and sculptor. His love of type, color, and composition are on full display in his paintings, often presented in a series of interconnected works. The longer you look at his work, the more details, or quiet little jokes you’ll find. A recent series entitled “Three Letter Words” explores the idea that a single word can be a complete statement with layers of meaning:
In a profile by Wow x Wow Gallery, Limon speaks of how he always sought out art and artists as inspiration, dreaming of a place in that milieu while still remaining safely within the graphic design arena: “I used to spend my days sitting behind a computer working in the graphic design biz and almost every single day I’d scour through illustration annuals and art books. For the longest time it was a place where I always felt I belonged, but was frightened to jump into.”
Limon creates a world of strangely beautiful creatures that meld an odd cryptid sweetness with the artist’s love of packaging and design. The aforementioned “Three Letter Words” series also embodies packaged ideas. How we wish for the strange “products” he has envisioned to be real things that we could scoop right off the panel and tinker with! The details, the rich yet chalky colors, the charming smiles of his weird little friends, the words and symbols — every facet makes me want to peruse further, perhaps starting up a guileless conversation with these little one-word-wonders.
In his Artist’s Statement, Limon shares his thoughts about old commercial pieces and how that inspires his current work: “Within the elements that surround us every day are bits of someone else – a record of thoughts made up of color, typography and symbols marked onto paper and metal to represent products throughout time. As an artist I’ve grown to value these pieces of history; to survey and connect them to craft my own thoughts and feelings.”
Limon’s images remind us of those misfit toys who endure in their own preternatural realm between real and not-real, alone but not lonely, waiting for a child-like soul to come play with them.
Limon also touches upon the fact that his earlier work was based more on nature and magical creatures: “Over time I have explored a range of subjects, from ideas based on nature to otherworldly beings. As I progress through my work there is one field where I started and tend to gravitate toward the most: history. History is all around.”
Many viewers find themselves drawn to Limon’s earlier works. They have a very loose and organic feel compared to his later work, almost worshipful of nature and magic. Many are are large canvasses rather than the panels he began utilizing in later pieces. The texture and tactility these larger canvasses lend also feels very natural with the subjects, which have a fantastical vibe and a certain quality of light and depth that feel very different from the harder edges of his later, and equally fascinating, work.
In 2007, Limon took the leap from a successful career in graphic design to begin painting full-time, exhibiting his work in galleries across the United States and Europe. Dozens of group shows, solo exhibitions, publications, and awards have also spawned a squee-inducing array of toys, tee shirts, pins, and stickers. All are available on his website along with prints, very affordable print sets, and original paintings. We dare you to come away with only a single treasure! There is seriously no saturation level for this stuff and no end in sight for Limon’s output, either. Check the blog on his site for a steady stream of updates that will send you running for your credit card and clearing space on your walls.
Follow Jason Limon on Instagram and Twitter for a seemingly endless barrage of incredible imagery. It is seriously page after page of wonderful stuff! A rather staggering archive of Limon’s work is currently available via his flickr stream where his quirky humor and obvious love for his bizarre little giggling creatures and cryptids is on full display. Then head back to his shop and score a few treasures for your own juicy little world!
Featured Image via Jason Limon Art.