Jim Ford is a multidisciplinary artist and type designer based in Milwaukee. Ford creates a fusion of modern and contemporary abstraction in his “collage paintings” which are activated with his sense of humor, history, culture and spirituality. Working in series, he has also developed a few signatures in paper collage. Ford’s most recent works on paper are informed by his years of experience in shaping letterforms and cutting images.
Art is a vehicle that affords us adventure and wonder. Each piece is an opportunity to express concepts in a new way as we learn and evolve. In my work, I strive to master the art of storytelling in my own visual language.
My art is largely collage-based, though I have a background in drawing and design. Juxtaposing passages of paint, collage and assemblage, I tend to blur the lines between mediums so that the elements are working in unison. My work challenges the viewer to form their own personal analysis, decoding clues while exploring personal emotional and symbolic associations. Fueled by music, inside jokes and observations about modern life, the work tends to take on a humorous attitude with quirky titles and unusual subjects.
A progression connects my pieces, which graduate from one “seed” to another, working to create a rhythm, momentum and – ultimately, a distinct abstract language. My work is, at times, a rebellion or reaction to our time and place; and other times embracing the human experience. Each piece is vastly different from the last, and while I employ a number of styles and techniques – my work is perhaps best defined by its compositional style and quality of energy.
I’m interested in evolving my work into sculptural forms and experimenting with installation and space. My art practice is about expansion, growth and discovery, more than repetition. Building upon the themes that define my work, I am always seeking new and different ways of remixing materials to propel my artistic vision.
BFA Graphic Design - Columbia College Chicago
2021 — The Other Art Fair, Brooklyn Expo Center, May
2020 — Artist Talk with Artdose Magazine, May 4th
2020 — Cut Me Up Magazine: Issue 4 (art + words), Jan
2019 — Kolaj Magazine #26 (cover + artist portfolio), July
2021 — Sticks To Stones (solo), UW Whitewater, Aug
2020 — Creating A New Whole (juried), Center for Visual Arts, Wausau, June - Sept
2020 — Rhyme Or Reason (group), Scout Gallery, Milwaukee, May - June
2020 — The Art of Collage II (virtual exhibition), Frank Juarez Gallery, on view May 2- May 30
2020 — Schwitters' Army (group), MERZ Gallery, Scotland, UK
2019 — Jim Ford: Literally (solo), Greenfield Library. Greenfield, WI, November
2019 — High Fleaux (solo), Gallery 2622. Wauwatosa, WI, October
2019 — The Eleven (group), Scout Gallery, Milwaukee, WI
2019 — Breakers & Bastards (solo), Grove Gallery. Milwaukee, WI
2018 — The Other Art Fair, Mana Contemporary. Chicago, IL
2016 — Dada Centennial Exhibition, Museum of Collage. Santa Fe, NM
2011 — Meshed, Black Cloud Gallery. Chicago, IL
2011 — Flatstock 30 at Pitchfork Fest. Chicago, IL
2011 — Grand Opening show, Gallery F. Chicago, IL
2010 — InkBomb, Empty Bottle. Chicago, IL (curator)