The Magpie's Mountain, a Calamity of Creeks and Wanton Beasts, 2013
mixed media collage with hand drawing and book covers
14 x 43 inches
A Whisper, A Handshake, A Drop of Blood, 2013
mixed media collage with hand drawing on dismounted photograph
17 x 20 inches
Standard American XXIV: Ghosts and Suitors, 2008
mixed media collage and hand drawing on tin target
18.75 x 17 inches
Breaking Cover for the Meadow, 2013
mixed media collage with hand drawing on tin target
21 x 16 inches
JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY is proud to announce O Bury Me Not, new mixed media collage with hand drawing by MICHAEL PAJON. The exhibition is a follow up to his successful and acclaimed solo installation at VOLTA NY fair in March during Armory week. Pajon’s latest works will be unveiled on April 23 in conjunction with the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and will remain on view through May 28. There will be an artist’s reception Saturday, May 4, from 6-9 pm.
This latest series, O Bury Me Not, titled after a Depression-era cowboy ballad, will showcase Pajon's whimsical and narrative collage, meticulously created from hand-cut materials including antique scrapbooks, book covers, matchbooks, handwritten letters and ledgers, lithographs, maps, siding samples and old photographs. All of his materials come from the golden age of printed matter from the late 1860’s to the 1940’s, to which the artist adds his own hand-drawing in order to connect a new narrative from the elements of nostalgia.
Pajon says of these works:
Death is a prevalent theme in this body of work, it is something that has shaped my life significantly, and the lives of those portrayed eternally. Amongst them are dentists, salesmen, hucksters, hunters, school children, snake oil salesmen, and preachers -- the ‘lesser’ folk of our collective American history. They, like the dying cowboy, should be allowed the luxury of myth.
For it is in this myth-making that truths can be found, and it is in death that we return to the earth, the final truest act we will make. These collages are the headstones of the forgotten and the discarded, reliquaries, suspending that notion of death and the unknown, replacing it with myth and story, scrolling narratives of American fable and folly, painted in torn ticket stubs and moth eaten medical manuals.
MICHAEL PAJON attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating in 2003 with a focus in printmaking. Eventually gravitating to the graphic nature of the medium that closely resembled the comics he loved, he worked closely as an assistant/ studio manager to renowned artist Tony Fitzpatrick. During this time he started making assemblages of the bits and pieces he had accumulated from alleys, junkshops, and thrift stores, slicing up old children's book covers and rearranging their innards into disjointed tales of Americana.
Pajon's work has been exhibited in various venues worldwide, including the Illinois State Museum, Chicago, IL; Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL; Prospect 1.5 (curated by Dan Cameron), New Orleans, LA; Adam Baumgold Gallery, New York, NY; Nau-haus Art Space, Houston, TX, and Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA. His work has been shown in numerous art fairs including Nova Art Fair (Chicago, 2006), Bridge London (London, 2007), Aqua Art Fair (Miami, 2007), Next Art Fair (Chicago, 2008), the Texas Contemporary Art Fair (Houston, 2012), and VOLTA New York (2013).
His work has been reviewed in Forbes, Where Magazine, Juxtapoz, ArtInfo, Artlyst, Gambit Weekly, New City, Artnet, Artslant, and Pelican Bomb. His works appear in numerous public and private collections including 21c Museum, Louisville, KY; the Francis H. Williams Collection in Wellesley, MA; Megan Koza Young of the Dishman Art Museum, Beaumont, TX; as well as prominent New Orleans collectors Thomas Coleman and Michael Wilkinson.