Justin Fontaine Maury
Justin Fontaine Maury is an American artist currently studying photography and design. Born in Englewood New Jersey in 1988, Maury creates artworks that combine skills from his studies in both of these areas, along with the use of found objects, paint, and resin to create a final product that has a great amount of texture and depth. Coming from a background of design, Maury’s works have a transparent structure that can be traced back to his time working as a designer for a branding company in New York City. He uses digital methods to enlarge photographs inspired by vintage adult film posters and classified ads overlooked by pop culture due to their taboo nature. He later paints over portions of the photographs to create painted backgrounds for the figures. Justin then sands the layers of paint to give the work a texture which is exaggerated by the thick layer of resin. The resin coating is both a structural and aesthetic choice on the part of the artist as it binds the layers of paint together on the wooden surface rendering the painting much more stable and increasing the transparency of the artistic method.
The work of Justin Maury is undoubtedly connected to the phenomena of language and image occurrence in popular culture. The words that take over many of Maury’s works – which sometimes contain the title of the piece – always seem to be critically linked to the image at hand. Maury plays with conceptions of language and image by having the figure obstruct the full comprehension of language and vice versa. The viewers’ constant battle to define the figure from the word becomes a futile attempt with some of Maury’s new works, raising interesting questions about the nature of American popular ad culture and the inherent human desire to link image and language. Another recurring painterly element of the artist’s works is the outlining of the human form with paint. This seems to be a theme in figural works without words, an aesthetic leitmotif which works to remove the adopted commercial image from the environment of advertisement to place it back into the aesthetic realm. The outline redefines the image it surrounds, creating an aesthetic form that negates legibility as a commercial product and is left only to be observed as painting, figure, color and form.