Kelly Kristin Jones is an Atlanta-based visual artist who earned her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In May, she completed a Post-MFA Faculty Fellowship at the University of Georgia. She is currently a MINT Gallery Leap Year Artist and is the recipient of a number of prestigious awards including the James Weinstein Memorial Fellowship (2012), The Union League and Civic Arts Foundation Prize (2011, 2012) and the Municipal Art League Fellowship (2012). Jones is also the founder of DEADRINGER [prints + projects], an experimental project space.
As an artist, I function in the in-between space. Both my narrative and my relationship with photography are flexible and allow polarities opportunity to reposition themselves. I play along the edges of race, gender, culture as well as picking at the relationships between performance and documentation.
Photography is most intriguing and engaging when it can play a constitutive role, and not merely serve a documentary position. I explore the complex relationship with and the varied uses of photography – particularly in the performance of self. I find the intersection of performance and photography to be a place of resistance and revival.
Standing in line at the grocery, I grab at fashion magazines lining the aisle and will myself not to become impatient with the slow-moving line. Not long ago, for the first time, I actually saw the women featured in these magazines; their manufactured and manipulated coloring stood out in a way that I have never noticed before.
Sampling from the advertisements and content of popular “women’s interest” magazines, I build collages of the skin of female bodies. Magazine cuttings are taken from the “true” shade offered in the photograph (extreme shadows and highlights are avoided). The size of the clipping corresponds to the size of the body (or body part) pictured.
Part paper surgeon, part beauty ethnographer, I am trying to find another way to interact with these fantasy women. To force an acknowledgement of what we have been doomed to look to as ideal for far too long. Out of context these skinnings offer a new perspective on who is included and what is deemed beautiful.