Julian J. Jones on “MARKINGS,” to Debut during Detroit Month of Design on September 9th
“MARKINGS” exhibition, on view during Detroit Month of Design, embarks on Julian J. Jones journey to discover his Black identity.
“Trying to complicate notions of who a Black man can be in white spaces, the word “mark” is the dominant theme throughout my practice. A “mark” refers to a part of a sketch, as well as the lasting trace of an emotion or experience. I’m drawn to a traditional Black outlet, connecting with the Gee’s Bend quilters for their commitment to working through abstraction.”
Julian Jamaal Jones is an African American interdisciplinary artist and fashion photographer born and raised in Indianapolis, IN. Jones earned his Bachelor’s degree in Photography in 2020 from the Herron School of Art + Design in Indianapolis, IN. Julian graduated with his Master’s in Photography in 2022 from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI and received The Museum Purchase Award.
Jones grew up on the northside of Indianapolis, Indiana, in predominantly white neighborhoods. Surrounded by whiteness, he would recuperate after school by watching 106 & Park on B.E.T where he “witnessed people who looked like me — watching music videos of Lil’Kim, Missy Elliot, Ludacris, and Lil Wayne, to name a few. 106 & Park introduced me to the Black and hip-hop culture, which influences my art practice today.”
When did you know you were/wanted to be an artist?
I knew art chose me at the age of five years old. I was fascinated with colors, shapes, and lines. I started drawing in my sketchbook with no understanding of art. Art is part of my life now due to my love of self – expression and design.
What theme are you most interested exploring currently?
The concepts that I’m exploring surfaces on “the discovery of who I am,” my family history and my Black identity.
What is it about using textiles and or photography Work that is the most interesting to you?
The ability to connect with my historic past is most interesting to me. A line runs from my art practice through the nurturing practices of my great grandmother, the family quilter. Grandma Elsie not only constructed colorful, elegant, and sophisticated quilts for her eight children, she also made garments for everyday wear. From her, I inherited an appreciation for quilting, fashion, and art.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by Hip-Hop culture, Fashion Design, Abstraction and Black culture.
Do you have a favorite technique?
My favorite technique is the color blocking technique. It is the exploration of taking colors that are opposites on the color wheel and pairing them together to make interesting color combinations.
What about your creative process have you found to be the most successful for you?
I’ve found the combination of my hand and the sewing machine most successful for my process. I find it exciting to see my 9 x 12 sketches from my sketchbook, blown up and manipulated through the technique of collage.
What inspired the concept behind the show you are installing?
My sketches inspired the show. The sketches are the first process of my practice. I wanted to display a show that speaks my truth on how I view art and allow my audience to experience my unique art practice.
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