50 × 60 cm, acrylic and oil on paper mounted on canvas, 2023
Jonas Mayer, born in 1995, is a German visual artist and designer. Since completing his apprenticeship as a graphic designer in 2017, he has been studying Fine Arts with a focus on painting at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Saar in Saarbrücken, Germany.
His figurative paintings and sculptures address the act of childlike play. His artistic work derives from nostalgic memories of his own childhood and toys, which he reinterprets in form of dreamy paintings as well as toy suggestive sculptures. Childlike imagination, curiosity and ease hereby serve as a major inspiration. The intentions of his works are the evocation of the infantine playfulness and the viewers association with his/her own childhood. His paintings visualize the maelstrom of toys into childish parallel worlds which open up scenographically staged pictorial spaces to the viewer. Inanimate objects come to life and become inspirited.
On the other hand, Jonas Mayer's sculptures embody the playful drive. The main focus is the process of combining different forms and materials, as well as the spontaneity of the design. Wood offcuts and bulky waste remnants form his material archive. Each of these waste products contain antecedent life, which now take on a new form in self-interpreted toys.
Central design elements of his paintings are woodcut-like figures and the playful handling of texture and surface. His choice of colors constitute a play between intense primary colors and desaturated pastel earth tones.
The partial dissolution and abstraction of complex dynamic figures and pictorial compositions into simple color surfaces, lines and bodies run throughout his works and bear witness to his roots in graphic art.