by K. O'Day
Artist Kim Jones is a California native and Vietnam veteran who made a name for himself in the early 1970s as “Mudman.” This alter-ego took the form of a walking, tree-like sculpture for which Jones would cover his face with pantyhose, encrust his whole body with mud and attach a latticework of sticks and branches to his back. Then he’d head out onto the streets of LA. Both comedic and disturbing, the Mudman persona is representative of Jones’ peculiar psyche, affected in no small part by his service in Vietnam as well as a near-paralyzing childhood illness that left him bedridden from the ages of seven to 10. During this three-year ordeal the seeds of Mudman may have sprouted, as Jones has said that during this time he developed an “inner world.” As a child confined to bedrest, he simply drew all the time. Gaining some degree of fame as a performance artist (his antics have included burning live rats and tossing charred hot dogs at the audience) hasn’t deterred Jones from creating a large collection of visual work over the past 30-some years—drawings, paintings and inanimate sculptures—and UB Art Gallery is proudly hosting his first full retrospective, which will remain on view through December 17. A meet-the-artist reception takes place in the first-floor, lightwell and second-floor galleries and includes his well-known War Drawings, a series of battlefield diagrams done in pencil that includes a powerful 35-foot, floor-to-ceiling, three-wall installation. This exhibit is organized by UB’s Sandra Firmin, in conjunction with the Luckman Fine Arts Complex in Los Angeles.
Thursday, October 19 (tonight) from 5-7pm. UB Art Gallery, Center for the Arts, North Campus,
Issue Navigation> Issue Index > v5n42: Arborgeddon (10/19/06) > See You There > Kim Jones/Mudman
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