Jon Canty is a versatile and dynamic British visual artist based in Edinburgh, Scotland. His output is both varied and engaging with a creative practice that focuses mainly on narrative painting, exploring themes such as urban decay, dystopia and the human condition.
Much of Jon’s work lies within a representational blueprint with varying degrees of abstraction in their compositions and approach. At the far end of his creative spectrum, he has explored almost total abstraction with compositions of bold colours and geometric forms.
Evident in much of Jon’s work is his background in civil engineering and town planning - an enquiring mind with a tension between logical exploration and creative expression. The darkness evident in much of his work comes from a life-long love of heavy metal music and interest in horror films.
The creative process in Jon’s work begins with an initial idea or theme followed by investigative work around the composition, narrative and emotional content. Throughout the act of painting there are varying degrees of push and pull, experimentation and thoughtful consideration before a finished piece eventually materialises.
An open mind in selecting the mediums and surfaces to be employed is key to maintaining a diverse and interesting body of work. Oil and acrylic paints on various surfaces are most often utilised, alongside mixed media and drawing based mediums. His process of painting involves the use of a variety of mark-making techniques to give a dynamic feel to the work.
In terms of influences from the art world, Gerhard Richter provides an all encompassing inspiration in terms of his ability to straddle representational work though to total abstraction. Other key influences come in the form of Hughie O'Donoghue, Victoria Crowe, Peter Doig, Daniel Pitin and Edward Hopper together with the haunting work of Nicola Samori and Francis Bacon in the figurative realm.
Jon's creative practice has been honed through rigorous training at the Leith School of Art, an environment that has been very supportive and helped his work evolve naturally through engaging projects and a network of tutors and fellow students.
Jon has exhibited in a number of group shows in Edinburgh and elsewhere in Britain. He has work in private collections in the UK, Germany, Australia and the USA. He has had several solo exhibitions including a display of abstract paintings at the contemporary Studio Flamingosaurus Rex Gallery in Edinburgh in 2016.