Image rights: Work and image courtesy the artist
About Paul Ramírez Jonas
In his mixed-media works and public projects, Paul Ramírez Jonas creates community, or, at least, the potential for it. Since the 1990s, he has been pursuing a definition of art as the relationship between artist, viewer, and artwork. Many of his works actively invite viewer participation—such as by making a wish or leaving a note. For Ramírez Jonas, the potential to participate is crucial, as he describes: “I want the choice to be important, to be felt.” His New York-based Key to the City project (2010) exemplifies the community spirit of his work, aptly and humorously reflected in its list of components: “people, 24,000 keys, 24 sites, 155 collaborators, and mayor.” Whimsical and sincere, this work invited people to pick up a key and open locks throughout the city, engaging the public in a collective exchange and exploration.
American, b. 1965, California, based in New York, New York