the website of jonathon brown

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about JB


"By Grand Central Station cliché © Carrie Buckle

I Stood Up And Drank - A Manhattan!"


Jonathon Brown is a Scottish artist who for quarter of a century has made his home in the foot-hills of the Alps north of Nice.

Born in Edinburgh in 1955, he attended The Edinburgh Academy and then went on to read Moral Sciences at Pembroke College, Cambridge.   Thereafter he was mainly devoted to writing and indeed during the 1980s contributed regularly to the Times Literary Supplement, as well as being Arts Editor on What's On Scotland and Opera Correspondent for Scotland on Sunday.

However, encouraged by David Hockney, whom he had met in the late 1970s and who took the photograph here in 1989, JB's creative self also emerged during the 1980s and upon arrival in France he devoted himself almost entirely to his art. 

In addition to a relish for painting flowers — which he calls Les Fleurs du Bien — and a graphic gift in his portraits, he has evolved a personal vision of landscape in which he evokes travel through the landscape rather than giving a static view.   This vision was celebrated by the Talbot Rice Art Gallery at Edinburgh University in a show entitled RoadMovies [2002] and forms the seed of work he has shown in two residencies at the Musée international d'Art naïf, in Nice [2010, 2015].

Additional residencies have seen him teach & create at the École Campus near Nice and at Seymour College, Adelaide, South Australia.   Other work that has emerged from these personal visions include a sequence of somewhat narrative scroll paintings entitled Fictive Things —  he is fascinated by ancient Chinese scroll painting — and a large set of Stations of the Cross.

He has also broadcast some quirky interval talks for BBC Radio Three and has written books, most notably his memoir of his friendship with Hockney, entitled I Don't Know Much About Art But I Know David Hockney  [Mer, 2007] and Cook-au-Vin, a book of recipes & drawings [BPE, 2012].    His work on a jaunty volume about the philosophy of vision concentrating on Renaissance Florence has been hampered by the recent theft of his two-years' worth of notes:  "I shall have to start afresh; and perhaps that's the operative word — fresh?!"


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