‘’Art : Beat’’, a colorful collaboration by husband and wife team Bruce and Tracy Jones, is inspired in part by ever growing feelings of anxiety amidst the emerging oppression of our society. Bruce and Tracy reflected on past generations who struggled similarly, and gravitated towards Kerouac and his cohorts, attracted by their influences on the progressive moments of the 1960s and 70s.
Bruce’s portrayals of America’s Beat writers and some of their Bebop inspirations are a pertinent reminder for all of us to never take our First Amendment rights for granted, and to pay homage to those men and women who raged against their oppressors while fighting to express themselves. These large scale impressionistic portraits are painted in a limited palette with bold strokes, reminiscent of the Pop Art colors of the mid 20th century. The depictions are nuanced, and expose the subjects’ human imperfection and frailty, while striving to capture the struggles that these writers and musicians endured throughout their lives. The square format was definitively chosen as dramatic irony, for the Beat Generation defines “cool,” and these artists were simply not capable of being “square!” Many of these artists were afflicted by substance abuse and addiction, similar to the epidemic which continues to permeate our present society. Undoubtedly, these writers, artists, and musicians are defined by their genius, and not by their illnesses - similarly, we must not let this present scourge define our friends and neighbors, but rather, encourage creatives to find their voices as well.
Tracy’s large scale collage assemblages also evoke Pop Art characteristics, while correlating with Bruce’s portraits, as the repetitive circles contrast symbolically with the squares. Constructed primarily of donated recycled materials, each is like a miniature abstract painting itself, made of pure pigment, selected to either interact with its surroundings, or assembled as protests. These pieces are made to elicit responses and to force the viewers to look a little deeper at the world around them, to smile a little, and if necessary- to Howl.
The Joneses reside in Exeter, NH where they have enjoyed a life filled with family, friends, and art.