Oakland-based artist Jon Carling’s work has been described as imperfectly precise, and otherworldly. Childhood imagination haunts his drawings, as they often swing from pure fantasy to dry terror. Working only with pen and pencil (and the occasional spot of color), he weaves creatures and environments that recall 19th century book illustration, while incorporating transcendent and sinister themes.
“I want people to have an emotional response to my work that reminds them of being a child, when certain details are left out of an image, you use a very special part of your brain to fill in the spaces, and I think that is the key to engaging the viewer, let them write the story for themselves.”
Since graduating in 2002 from Oakland’s CCA with a degree in illustration, Jon’s work has been featured in numerous gallery expos and publications, either in solo exhibitions or alongside his contemporaries in cities across the United States and Italy. Along with those exhibitions , he has made animated videos, multi-media projections, posters and album art for bands such as The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Entrance Band, Meho Plaza, Agent Ribbons, Magic Castles, Noceans, Voice on Tape, The Lovely Eggs and Ema and the Ghosts.