Jon Kipps is a visual artist currently working between London and Southend-on-Sea.
Kipps's practice draws from a wide range of referential starting points which he splices together creating new sculptural hybrid objects. He is interested in the way people choose to model and customise their environments and surrounding commodities, particularly objects associated with asserting or diffusing power, restricting behaviour and understanding social hierarchies. Examples include hostile architecture design such as homeless spikes and skate stoppers as well as car body modifications and less obviously aggressive forms of urban infrastructure such neoclassical architecture, bollards and coastal defences.
Kipps attempts to undermine the assertiveness inherent in such design through materiality. For example dyed MDF suggests a far more robust material such as steel, but will actually fade and age quickly over time. Other examples include the use of leftover floor protection plastic as a budget replacement for iridescent car paint, using partially weathered materials such as a sea eroded brick, or repurposing cheap plasterboard into towering, fluted columns.
The way an object develops and evolves throughout the making process is hugely important. Kipps pushes this progression by customising the forms using stickers, prints, found objects, bespoke paint jobs and tailor made components intended to imply a level of functionality and also significance.
Kipps’ most recent sculptures are all named after bands from niche music genres of Metal such as Doom, Sludge, Thrash and Crust Punk. When encountering these titles, associations of subcultures and bands may not be immediately apparent to viewers unfamiliar with such genres, but as names they charge each object with a new atmosphere and an additional layer of symbolism.
Jon Kipps (b.1986, Southend-on-Sea) graduated from the MFA Sculpture at Slade School of Art in 2014. He is currently based in London. Kipps was shortlisted for the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award 2020. Key exhibitions include: Kuroko, Index Festival, Leeds 2019; Fogou (w/ Stuart Bowditch), May Project, London 2018; Arches and Velvet Curtains, Frank Kent and Jonathan Kipps, Royal Academy of Arts, London 2017; TAWI, Dakar Biennalle OFF, Senegal 2016; Jonathan Kipps & Article 25, News of the World, London 2016; Works made in Japan, Musashino Art University, Boise Travel Scholarship, Tokyo 2014; Column, UCL Art Museum (commission for Re-Launch), London 2014; Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, album artwork, Cooking Vinyl records 2010.