Hello Jon, first of all, tell us something about your upcoming work. What are you into at the moment?
I’m currently working on the largest and most detailed drawing I have ever attempted. There are two giant, two-faced babies (based on my son) with their umbilical cords entwined. The umbilical cords branch out into a coral-like tree and have pregnant women growing from the ends, like fruit. They are surrounded by strange floating hybridised creatures. Some of the creatures are attacking the tiny pregnant women, while others seem to have been domesticated by them. I could go on and on and to be honest, I’m not really sure what it’s all about, but I’m having a lot of fun creating it!
Would you please tell us some about the Beinart Collective?
The beinArt Surreal Art collective kind of evolved organically over the years. I started featuring artwork by a few friends on my personal website in 2003. They were also creating figurative work with surreal themes, so our work seemed to fit together. It got to the point that I had so many “guest” artists on the site that I decided to call it a collective and move the emphasis away from my own work. At first it was the Underground Australian Art Collective.. and then, years later I started inviting and accepting submissions from international artists. I relaunched the site as the beinArt Surreal Art Collective. Over the years I published a few art books and I curated a number of big group shows.
How did you reach so many internationally known artists, do you know them personally?
That happened quite organically too. I got to know a few well known artists, who introduced me to a few more, and so on. As I got involved in publishing and curating, more artists had heard of the collective and were keen to get involved. Social media has played a big role in my getting to know so many amazing like minded artists. Being based in Australia, I am quite geographically isolated from a majority of the artists in the collective, but I did get to know a lot of them personally when I travelled to the States to attend the beinArt Collective group shows. I’ve made some really good friends over the years and it feels like I’m a part of an international community of like minded people. It’s really great!!
How has your work evolved over the years from when you were beginning?
Both my drawings and my Toddlerpede sculptures have become larger and more complex over the years. Plus I use more reference these days, so my drawing have become less cartoony.
Who’s the first painter/sculptor that comes to your mind in a second?
Christian Rex van Minnen is probably my favourite contemporary painter at the moment. He’s the king of glistening pustules!
Something you’ve always wanted to do, but have yet to.
I’d love to travel around Europe and meet a bunch of the European artists in person!
Something you want the world to know about you.
I love being a father! My son is the centre of my universe.
What would your dream project be? I mean theme, location, size…
I’d love to curate a big travelling museum show. I’d also like to open an odditorium that showcases strange curiosities and art.
What’s next for you? What shows or projects do you have planned?
I’ll be curating another big group show at some stage soon. Hopefully I’ll finish this drawing one day!