Allen Jones b.Southampton 1937-
Unlike its American counterpart it has been said that British Pop Art is highly individualistic. Allen Jones’ work is a perfect example. Extremely personal, it scrutinizes his philosophical belief that work of lasting value and true creativity can only be achieved through the fusion of the masculine and feminine traits.
One of the 1959 intake at Royal College of Art, Allen Jones has relentlessly pursued this theory and at times attracted controversy.
While he was in New York with Peter Phillips in 1964, fellow ex-RCA student David Hockney pointed out a similarity between Allen Jones hermaphroditic paintings and illustrations found in magazines aimed at the fetish market.
The quality of this work impressed him as the people who created had little or no formal art training. Thus began a period which reached it’s apex in 1969 with three furniture sculptures; a chair, a table and a hat stand, each incorporating an extremely life-like woman in a submissive pose clad in fetish gear forming a major element. The artist says that he simply wanted see how far he needed to go for the man in the street to wake up to art. The feminists certainly took notice.
Allen Jones is a painter, printmaker and sculptor par excellence but it is the initial concept that gives him most satisfaction.