Claire de Jong’s work fluctuates constantly between the restful and the restive – whether sculpture, painting, or any of the myriad spaces in between. At first sight there seems to be an unbridgeable gulf between the abstract, whitewashed calm of the sculptures, their empty mirrors fragmenting some ideal, unattainable space, and the paintings, with their venomous palette, appropriated imagery and unorthodox supports.
Dig beneath the surface and one finds that both serve some highly personalized, apotropaic function: warding off evil, repulsing threats, soothing the beleaguered organism. Like the head of the Medusa or the spiny sea urchin – apotropaic symbols par excellence – these works seem to thrive on mirroring and inversion, remind us of the ever-present threat of formlessness and chaos, whether in the abstract sense or the product & media driven sense of the world we live in today. They fairly bristle with mirrors and barbed rejoinders while concealing a deep-seated desire for repose and contemplation that is inordinately difficult to attain.