JONATHAN “FERAL OPOSSUM” MAYERS: L’ÉPARPILLAGE at Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans, LA

L’Éparpillage is Jonathan “feral opossum” Mayers’ first exhibition with the gallery. Recent, small- to medium-scale, vibrant paintings depict metaphorical beasts amid meticulously rendered Louisiana landscapes.  The mysterious creatures – somewhat wicked, somewhat charming – were born of the artist’s familiarity with Louisiana folklore, and serve to illustrate his opinion pertaining to the reality we live in. The haunting, curious images also address the current fragility of our ecosystem, most specifically the southern region of Louisiana. One can imagine that these hulking, cartoonesque monsters roam about protecting the environment by destroying bridges, invasive species, or even by haunting the people who try to smother “la dame Nature.”

Mayers, whose artistic influences include Robert Williams, Max Ernst and Caravaggio, is inspired by being outside “with everything that has come, everything that has been, with everything that still exists.” His work connects with experiences redolent of adventure through visual, textual, and sometimes tactile means. He collects material – such as Jean Lafitte sediment – from each physical place he visits and considers the thoughtful implementation of these materials into his work essential. This is most evident in his colorful, embellished frames, which work to both corral and embrace his visual narratives.

Jonathan Mayers was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art with a concentration in painting and drawing from Louisiana State University in 2007 and then his Master of Fine Arts with a concentration in painting from the University of New Orleans in 2011. He has shown extensively throughout Louisiana, as well as had a number of exhibitions throughout North America. He has exhibited works in Prospect.3+, multiple Surreal Salons, Notes from the Artistic Underground, and Tiercé. His work is included in the Louisiana State University Student Union Art Gallery Permanent Collection and the art collection of Université Sainte-Anne in Church Point, Nova Scotia. In 2012, he became a co-manager and founding member of the TEN Gallery + Collective in New Orleans, LA. He is currently an instructor of painting and drawing at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA.


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