GET A CLOSER LOOK at some of Jonís lost country icon art.
CHECK OUT Yarddog.com, a cyber-gallery featuring more art by Jonboy Langford and other artists you should know about.
Jon Langford started in art school. He veered off into music, founding the perennially popular punk band, the Mekons, as well as the Waco Brothers and several other bands, but he never stopped making art. Since crossing over (so to speak) into alt country, heís become a student of American roots music and a devotee of vintage country music. He loves the legends and misses their sound in what he considers to be todayís musically bankrupt Nashville.
And Jonís art reflects these musical and political concerns. Heís made a series of portraits, some depicting his favorite singers, Hank Williams and Bob Wills, and one symbolically picturing an "Unknown Cowboy Singer.Ē The paintings are set against a dreamy blue background and feature a haze of images and bits of text which combine to tell the tale of how these pillars of country music have been lost or forgotten or sold into obscurity. Heís also carved a series of pink granite tombstones, markers of Country Musicís grave condition. Some of these stones are meant to mark the loss of a musical giant, while others are meant to mark Country Musicís losses (ďHank Williams Signs His ContractĒ).
While the overall effect is morbid and serious, thereís a good deal of humor and wit in each image, betraying Jonís punk rock sensibility and roots. Imitation, Jon believes, has been the death of country music. His point in both his music and his visual art is simple - strip it down and start again! Innovate!
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