Jonah Fernandez Olson uses printmaking, rubbing, drawing, collage, and other markmaking techniques to investigate the process of landscape formation and the relationships between changing and static, internal and external personal environments. His work has been shown in galleries around the world, and he has curated a series of pop-up exhibitions in Los Angeles under the title Groupshowhappening since 2008. In 2014 Jonah joined the now defunct curatorial entity, 5790projects along with Catlin Moore and Matthew Gardocki (both directors of Mark Moore Gallery.) His studio also operates as an edition press which he has used for collaborative work with and for local artists such as Matt Hewitt and Greg Dalton. Jonah is an active member of the Seeing Trails Hike Gang artist collective and has participated in High Desert Test Sites with the Seeing Trails Division of Fine Art. Olson earned a BFA with High Honors in Printmaking from California College of Arts and Crafts (now California College of The Arts), Oakland/ San Fransisco, CA. In addition to creating art, Olson lead printmaking workshops at Creative Growth in Oakland, CA and The Center For The Arts Eagle Rock in Los Angeles and is co-founder, singer/bassist in the sludge metal project Barfth with Allison Schulnik and Alyssa Dressman. He is also a member of the band, L.A. Takedown. He now lives in Apple Valley, CA.
I live at the foot of the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountain ranges, some of the the fastest growing and fastest eroding mountains in the world. I also live in a desert that contains the worlds oldest above ground living plant: a creosote bush name King Clone (11,700 years old.) My goal is to form a new object that is, in process and state, on equal footing with the history and presence of the landforms and plantlife around me.
I look at drawing as the creation of any form as a result of it's surroundings. I believe land formation, at its core, is no different from drawing, and the artist forms landscapes in a way that is no different in essence from how the earth's surface is self generating, or how living organizms evolve and survive.
The looking, creation, collection, re-looking and re-appropriation of elements colliding to form a topographical object is the drawing. The studio is the "core" containing ephemeral detritus. Here, material has been melted down, eroded, and regurgitated into layers. Color is used as it surfaces in availability and necessity. Formations become descriptive or obscure. Landscapes endure, or they die at a faster rate and re-enter the core. The crust is fluid.