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Jonathan Lyndon Chase : 15 Young LGBTQ Artists Driving Contemporary Art Forward


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Jonathan Lyndon Chase
B. 1989, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Lives and works in Philadelphia.

How has flattened space influenced the style and content of your paintings?

My work deals with bodies—more specifically Black, Queer, nonbinary bodies—and space relationships. Collage works by Romare BeardenWangechi Mutu, and Troy Michie are some that I admire when thinking about the complexities of space; what’s real and not real; how things like memories, histories, emotions, travel from one origin to another.

Can you speak about how your work responds to, or critiques, ideas of representation?

I am a fat body, I am a soft body, I am a male presenting body, I am a femme representing body. A long length of time and history talks about Black Heteronormative bodies in spaces and history. It is an exciting time to be making work that reclaims, challenges, and brings center focus to bodies and stories of Queer Black people in ways that are less about the constraints, lenses, and expectations. It’s exciting and empowering to see ideas of beauty; our bodies in historical references questioning gender. My work is about Love as well as a human range of emotions, self reflection, and visibility.

You’ve mentioned that your paintings depict experiences of “emotional highs and lows.” Is painting an active way to process emotional experiences?

Everything has emotion whether we like it or not. How can masculine bodies and energies heal, reframe, and teach others how to dismantle emotional colonization and get us back to a relationship between us and/or dreams, and potential to be the best version of our being as possible? Painting is a way to do this, in a specific way. I am forever changing and emotionally processing—aren’t we all?
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