There is an organic integration between abstraction and figuration in the oeuvre of JJ Manford (Boston, Massachusetts, 1983). From early works, recurring distinctive elements such as the figure of the dog, the cat, the moon, the sun, or spirals that mark the beginning or end of a process are observed. The evolution from outdoor landscapes to indoor scenes shows interest in the passage of time, contemplation, and inner self-knowledge. The compositions, influenced by the pointillist and impressionist style, denote a great mastery of drawing, the use of color and light.
Manford uses materials such as burlap (jute), whose fiber enriches texture. His knowledge of the linear field offers him tools that are implemented, especially, in geometry and perspective. The formal elements are connected within a spiritual cosmogony as mediators of a visible or invisible message. There is a connection between the natural quality of the support and the visual representation of the setting, emphasizing the importance of coexistence. The rooms, more than living spaces, are depicted as a mixed place between reality and imagination, giving rise to a free interpretation of the narrative and the meaning of the composition. Objects that can be identified with Western or Eastern culture (collective memory) and at the same time constitute a source of personal information (individual memory).
Graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009, with an MFA from Hunter College in 2012, Manford has developed his career for more than a decade with distinction in the mastery of detail, textures, and tonalities. His work has been included in multiple public and private collections, such as the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami, Florida. In 2013, he co-founded Underdonk, an artist-run exhibition space located in Bushwick, Brooklyn, the same neighborhood where Manford currently lives and works.