Jonathan Gent – Greensleeves

Jonathan Gent was born in 1976 in the Northgate Arms a public house in Cheshire, England. Here, he learned to drink and eat and draw. He studied very hard. Seldom slept. After studying at The Cheshire School of Art and The Edinburgh School of Art respectively, he then worked and lived in various countries… never remaining more than a year in any. He recently moved from California to The Highlands in Scotland….but now resides in the Cote d’Azur.

Gent’s paintings have been exhibited widely throughout the world including Edinburgh’s Scottish National Gallery, The Saatchi Gallery, The Freud Museum, and has recently held solo shows in New York, Dubai and London. Gent has gained a strong reputation with collectors including Tilda Swinton, Robin Vousden the director of Gagosian Gallery, Rami Farook, Samantha Morton, Aimee Mullins, David and Tia Hoberman.  Gent has warranted coverage in magazines such as I-D, W magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Another Magazine, Time Out and Self Service. 

“So I kept hearing whisper of him long distance and could not fight that legend then; gambler, lover, drunk, balladeer, dandy, wit and deadbeat, skid-row charismatic adrift in hautest luxury, bankrupt celluloid burn out with his own penthouse vista, own internal elevator to the stars; now flush in San Francisco or mit harem in Dubai, stumbling dumb streets of downtown LA in an almost turban, smashed on vintage something on a vast estate in Scotland, playing Country at top volume in the snow, scratched like a diamond vial, rusty his suit of armour, warrior tweed, brutal glass-paw to south-jaw etcetera.  

But the work itself, rich skills and styles, slipping lightly between swift seeing and being, sketching a special world from feints and jabs, from knowing precisely what you are doing and then not doing it, daring your own talent, your technical chops, always so wisely on the sly. Above all here is the forbidden word “romantic” and all its heady senses, an conjuring by a cunning magician of a special place where love and sex and lust and loss, the real “glamour” in the true meaning of heartbreak and beauty, her sunset geography, can triumph as in the perfect song.

Text by Adrian Dannatt Art Critic Paris