Jon Mills

“Art is ultimately the exteriorization of interiority, whether this be our perceptual apprehension of reality or our creative constructions superimposed on lived experience. Artistic expression originates and is filtered through the deep stratifications and mental spacings of our unconscious minds––in every genre, from the representational to the abstract, the concrete to the mosaic, in nature and in imagination, from dense complexity to the banal.”

Artist Biography: JON MILLS, American born, 1964; Canadian citizen. Lives in Ajax, Ontario. Studio in Coe Hill, Ontario.

My artwork consists largely of abstract expressionism, conceptual motifs, and pop. As a practicing psychologist, psychoanalyst, and an academically trained philosopher, my approach to artistic expression has been influenced by my clinical experience, self-introspection, and metaphysical ruminations on collective humanity. As a result, my approach to artistic creation is influenced by hybrid sources that have deeply penetrated my personality. My visual images are a direct result of my confrontation with the unconscious. My work is simply a fragment of my inner reality—arcane, displaced, confusional, affective yet symbolic.

My artistic style is derived from the psychoanalytic notion of ‘projective identification,’ which is how we come to identify with an alienated piece of our own psychic constitution that is reincorporated back into our inner sense of being. My method of creativity is what I call process dialectics, which involves a dialogue between our inner conflicts and desires that we come to displace or dissociate through our projections onto the world, only to identify with their contents through fantasy and re-internalize them back into our internal world in more holistic fashions. My overtures to painting are often unplanned and involve approaching the canvas with crude forms and amorphous color schemes. I then begin to notice and identify with certain unconscious (hence unintentional) productions and develop a theme according to the associations that emerge in my consciousness. This is why I believe art is primarily motivated by an unconscious intentionality or teleology that conditions our constructive perception of the world. My work may become intellectualized once initiated, but I rely on the primacy of affect and imago to create and render meaning through the vocabulary of emotion, energy, movement, and form. Whether you find it aesthetically pleasing or hideous, I invite you to reflect upon your own inner experience.