Jon Rappleye

Gallery Affiliations: Jeff Bailey Gallery

Region: South


City / State: Laurel , MS

In my current work, Pink Elephants, I combine the sublime with the ridiculous. A constructed reality is presented, with abstract and representational modes forming a fractured narrative dealing with issues of identity. My work confronts social constructs of masculinity, questioning traditional “male” roles through the use of decorative motifs and patterns. Childlike images are viewed through an adult lens. My paintings create visually profuse fields imbued with metaphorical allusions to tradition and culture.

My process involves first making sketches on paper. I then cut up the sketches and reconfigure them, forming a new, disjointed character. Each composition exhibits a central figure, one that has no specific gender, questioning both sexual orientation and gender identity.

Living in these times of absurdity, we question our own reality. Decayed layers of information reveal or conceal an image’s identity. Decorative, decadent, and satirical, my paintings draw upon a historically rich vocabulary combined with popular culture. I use humor to irreverently dissect established hierarchies and deconstruct identity. Old Masters, decorative pastiche, media, and cartoons are all treated with equal consideration.