This week, Work on Monday looks at the deeply layered, frenetic abstract work of Sag Harbor painter Yong Jo Ji. “Urban Symphony II,” from his “House Music” series is one of many works to demonstrate the connection between Ji’s art and the music that inspires it.
Work on Monday is a weekly look at one piece of art related to the East End, usually by a Hamptons or North Fork artist, living or dead, created in any kind of media. Join the conversation by posting your thoughts in the comments below and email suggestions for a future Work on Monday here.
Urban Symphony II
Yong Jo Ji (Sag Harbor)
Acrylic on canvas
48 x 60 inches, 2012
Of substantial but manageable size, “Urban Symphony II” is just large enough for the viewer to get lost within its rich and complex composition. While it displays many layers of paint—applied using a stamping technique with cardboard shapes, bubble wrap and other objects, along with hand painted lines and drips—the piece does not feature heavy impasto. Instead, it remains rather smooth, containing the all its elements, much like a house or techno song might keep its sound effects, instrumentation and vocals together in one clean-but-not-sanitized package.
The painting is broken up into a framework of boxes, which Ji has deftly melded together through his unusual and oddly harmonious color choices, possibly born of the artist’s use of designer interior house paint (though I’m only speculating here). Within the boxes, as well as on top, under and around them, Ji’s shapes give the eye something to grab while taking in what is, at its core, a pure expressive, and aggressive, abstraction.