For me art has always been more about feeling and emotion than worth and desire. I choose and collect art that speaks to me personally, and not to folks I'm trying to impress the shit out of. Hang it if it moves you. Simple as that.
When I visited the Museum of Modern Art in New York, I walked past the throngs of people mystified over "Starry Night" and directly to where the Mondrian was hanging. While at the Institute of Art in Chicago, I spent 3 hours in the Karsh photography exhibit before moving on. They moved me. I would give my left...well I wouldn't give up any body part for art, but I would like to think owning an original Elliott Erwitt photograph would be considered a once in a lifetime, you made it kind of achievement. With that said, this week's feature, artist Jonathan Pretus, makes art that I would totally hang.
I first caught a glimpse of Jonathan's work at Storyville on Magazine St. and ever since, I've been itching to find out more. Come to find out my good friend Lauren Thom ( FleurtyGirl ), has known he and his wife Julia forever. We finally met up for a stroll down Royal St. during "Dirty Linen" Night. At the end of the night, Jonathan and Julia invited me over to their home for some baked Ziti and a tour.
The Pretus clan including their chihuahua Wilson, invited me in as I arrived at their doorstep anticipating both the Ziti and to find out more about the artist.
Jonathan, who is also the rhythm guitar player with the band Cowboy Mouth, lead me downstairs to his studio. Cradled by their stands, are his most unique pieces, the acrylic painted guitars. Using both used and rescue acoustic and electric guitars, the end results are one of a kind. I quickly see the connection between music and art. Each area within the studio is lined with some of the most colorful pieces I've seen in a while.
Jonathan also paints on canvas and his work is highlighted by several pieces. My favorite of the bunch is titled "Set 'Em Up, Let 'Em Fall". Not only does the painting reflect the duality of life in NOLA, but is also a music lyric from the Better Than Ezra song "King of New Orleans". Nice right? Perfectly unique. Most of his pieces are titled in the same manner, where music meets art.
After several plates of Ziti, a couple of glasses of wine, and spirited conversation about music and life, I came to conclusion that not only is Jonathan a fantastically talented and unique artist, he's just a fucking cool dude.
I'm thrilled to meet and to have spent time with Jonathan, Julia, and Wilson. It's why living and breathing here in NOLA makes me so happy.