Jonathan Armistead

I was born and raised in Winnipeg Manitoba and received my BFA from the University of Manitoba in 2007.  I later moved to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and completed my MFA in 2012.  Since graduating, I have been teaching undergraduate courses in sculpture and continuing my own art practice.  

In 2012, I was a participant in the Tough Art residency at the Children’s museum of Pittsburgh, and in 2013 I attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.  I have received grants from the Greater Pittsburgh Arts council and the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry.  

In the past 2 years I have exhibited in Columbus, and Springfield OH, Houston and San Antonio TX, and Pittsburgh PA.  I have been included in some wonderful group shows with other artists that are also working in themes of sexuality and identity.  Most notably “i fon seks", and “The Church of Man Love”.

I am interested in re-imagining everyday objects, in order to reveal the world as I see it, prompting the viewer to re-examine their current reality.  I look to highlight an often dormant sexuality that exists within our everyday and uncover La Vie en Rose.  Sometimes my own body becomes object and objectified, revealing the performative nature of identity.   Each of my artworks typically begin with a simple indulgence, that then becomes enhanced, dancing a line between what is excessive, and what is acceptable.  The result leads to an uncanny and abject nature in my work, which illicits as many oooh's and ahhh's as it does ewww's and awwww’s.  With my tongue firmly in cheek, I hope to eradicate shame, and celebrate life's simple pleasures in the most honest way possible.  

I would consider myself to be an artist that favours sculpture vs being strictly a sculptor.  My first instinct is to lean towards the three dimensional, however I have done many photographic works (Shiner, 2011), and I have worked also in printmaking, video, and performance and interactive installation.  I am continually incorporating new techniques and materials and using them with utmost sensitivity so that the craft remains in harmony with the concept.  I have continually been investigating and incorporating digital fabrication into my artistic practice.  A current work in progress uses 3D scans of my body that are transformed into a landscape for a game of mini golf.  

Recently I been adding small kinetic elements to my sculpture.  The work is not always overtly kinetic in the traditional sense but small movements such as vibration, rotation, and flowing fluids, serve to add a pulse to the work and help the viewer perceive it as more than just an object but also as a living thing.   


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