Jon Mort

Current Exhibits

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Past Exhibits

The Face of the Deep
The myth of Glaucus (whose name means ‘the gleaming one’) represents one of the Classical world’s oldest expressions of the wish for, and understanding of, the power of transformation. A mortal who loved a sea nymph, the man Glaucus ate a magical plant that slowly changed him into a more and more sea creature-like being, until this transubstantiation was total. The moment depicted in the drawing is an interstitial one: the land of the figure’s origins is visible disappearing into the horizon, even as the darkness of the water below obscures his ultimate destiny. Likewise, the illuminated, up-stretched hand of Glaucus stands in the starkest contrast to his fully piscine tail. The lantern that throws the human expression of the figure into bobs along the water’s surface, standing at the threshold of these transitions, is a contradiction of flame in water, even as its attached cord embodies an unraveling. Glaucus is caught between two states of being, reflecting the viewer’s equipoise in understanding, being uncertain of the direction toward which the story before them is unfolding.
The piece’s title comes from the phrase in the ancient poetry of the book of Genesis, “and darkness covered the face of the deep” in description of the universe as a place of limitless, but unformed potential. The piercing, underlit expression of the figure and the lens of the water that bisects the composition are both faces: each reveals and hides in equal measure, and each gleams as the name ‘Glaucus’ implies. 
The drawing is of particular significance to its creator, representing a moment of transition and uncertainty in his own life. Begun with an entirely different composition in mind, the figure was completed without his background, which remained blank for some five years. The completed work reflects an evolving, clearer understanding of the artist’s origins, place, and journey. Fittingly, it is both fundamentally informed by, and a direct product and reflection of, the chapter in the artist’s life from which it was produced. 

Millennial artist Jon Mort is widely recognized for his startlingly realistic colored pencil and large-scale graphite images and is also a highly sought-after portrait artist. His work has been shown in exhibitions at the Phillips Museum, the Portsmouth Museum of Art was recently in a one-person exhibition titled LIVING LEGENDS at the Sandy Spring Museum in Maryland. as twenty exhibitions. In the spring of 2017 he was a featured artist is the Carla Massoni Gallery’s FULL CIRCLE exhibition and he is currently in their group exhibition titled SCALE.

Jon was born in Ashton, Maryland and maintains studios in Washington, DC and in Port Clyde, Maine. Captivated by drawing since childhood Jon received Fine Art and Classics degrees from Franklin and Marshall College, his Masters in Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2009- He is represented worldwide by the Carla Massoni Gallery.

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