Content is King
Every painting by Jonathan Kraus tells a story. The stories reveal themselves in combination as a series. Different characters appear: Kevin, Leo, Kai and the "artist", the avatar of the artist himself. Possibly they stand together for facets of a single individual. Kevin has slipped, Kai is ambivalent, Leo persists, but the "artist" rebels.
Kraus ‘characters inhabit a world in upheaval. The previous certainties and values no longer apply. New powers have emerged, global players, activists, fanatics.
The “artist” finds himself confronted with a present in which works of art are traded blindly according to speculative criteria, while the message and quality hardly count anymore.
The "artist" reacts with a defiant homage: he corrupts Roy Lichtenstein's high-priced work "ART" from 1962 with vehement brushstrokes to "FART" - "Pfurz". An attack on the established, especially an art movement that aimed for commercial success right from the start and emphasized this through the choice of its motifs and techniques from the world of consumption and advertising.
Jonathan Kraus contrasts juggling with auction results with a painting that is based on classical European art: It is figurative, anatomically correct, perspectively exact and narrative. He glazes and works out details with the finest brushstrokes. Kraus cultivates artistic virtuosity with an anachronistic expenditure of time, effort and skill. His paintings tell complex stories and encourage research, reflection and reassessment.
“This Artist Rewrites Art History” from 2019 shows Kraus ‘artistic alter ego while repeatedly writing the term“ art history ”. A detention? In a sense, that's true, because true art requires full commitment. Jonathan Kraus is a rebel of perseverance. He relies on the unique flow of knowledge, feeling and ability, the purely human, analog process that, when constellated, creates works of art that change everything.