A creative user of wide variety of materials, Jonni Cheatwood (b. 1986) is a Los-Angeles based painter who mixes oil, oil sticks, acrylics and textile in his works. The canvases are built out of pieces of fabrics, which are unified together almost like a puzzle. Cheatwood’s original inspiration for painting started in graffiti, moving onwards to the action painting of abstract expressionism.
During the past few years, however, abstract expressionism has made way for a figurative approach in Cheatwood’s works. Detailed interiors and characters are created in the artist’s signature style that makes use of sewing machines and different textiles together with oil paints and transparent mylar fabrics as the newest addition. Cheatwood’s works evoke a warm, nostalgic sensation similar to browsing through one’s familybook photographs, and although the people depicted in his works aren’t specifically always based on his own relatives or friends, the works are still about people he can relate to.
Despite changing the style of painting from abstract to figurative, the newer works share some traits with the earlier works, like the inventive use of fabric. In the previous works fabric played mostly a role in creating form, but in the new works, fabric is used as a tool to represent different objects and materials, such as window frames or floor tiling. Another point of contact to his previous paintings is the use of gestural movements - the painter’s “sweet spot” as he describes them – in the faces of the characters.