Some are broken to pieces and others are standing tall and strong, maybe the life of the broken one served a greater purpose than any of the others
A cactus grows throughout life and collects scars that both deconstruct and repurpose the plant for something deeper which it is meant to serve. Much like the cactus, I have experienced trials and tribulations that have caused great scarring, literally and figuratively, during my lifetime. The journey of the cactus is a metaphor, and a mirror image of my human experience. Though we may deal with many misfortunes and unforeseen consequences that at times break us down, humans, like the cactus, continue to grow and mature, and even in death the marks of our life may continue to serve a greater purpose to others.
This process of growing and maturing, leading into the finality of death, is equivalent to the artistic practice of building up and finalizing these intricate works of art. The final piece is a reflection of the impact for which years of scarring and decay carved into the cactus. I find beauty in the process of laboriously creating these works. I spend hours of time growing each piece to finalize each one with carvings that begin to tell a story of how each one was made. I want my work to serve as a reminder of the inspiration behind it, and what all-encompassing roles these plants serve in both life and death. Just like the cactus it takes years for us to evolve into the person we are meant to be and we have to overcome many obstacles along the way that eventually give us strength and character. I believe these wounds are a beautiful way to describe what life is. Looking into these cacti I hope the viewer can imagine the stories we may not know and the history behind them. Some are broken to pieces and others are standing tall and strong, maybe the life of the broken one served a greater purpose than any of the others
Johnathan Jimenez is graduating in 2022 from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts focusing on ceramics and oil painting. His work mainly focuses on the skeleton form of the Saguaro cactus and its metaphorical relationship with human life. Jimenez has had his work juried at the Modella Gallery in Stillwater and exhibited at the Oklahoma State University Gardiner Gallery twice. He has been a studio assistant for ceramics sculptor artist Brandon Reese and public artist Morgan Robinson for several years. Jimenez was chosen to be the Gardiner Gallery assistant while attending school where he gained valuable experience regarding gallery operations and exhibition production. Jimenez plans on pursuing an MFA, continuing to create art and becoming a university professor.