If the primary function of Jones’ work is to express the vast spectrum of his emotions, teeth have become, for the artist, evocative of so many elements of human existence, such as consumption, laughter , even violence. The mouth is both a figurative and literal opening, a gateway into the physical body – its essential functions and all the inconveniences it entails – as well as a channel for speech and expression. Although she does not work directly from reference images, Jones’ practice is informed by her exposure to visual media, nature, and her lived experiences. There are nods to gold grills and teeth, a common form of adornment in the black diaspora. However, the underlying principle is that everyone has a mouth and everyone has a starting point to think about the endless possibilities therein.
The composition of Jones’ paintings, which are almost always large-scale, is dictated by the size and shape of his canvas. One of the works in “say cheeeeese” is a diptych, but the most vivid paintings are those pinned to the wall with nails. They are not constrained by straight lines and seem to creep or stretch over the raw edges of unstretched canvases.