Artist Alan Jones (centre) with musician James Beck and model Yolanda Frost in Jones’ Alexandria studio. Picture: Tim Pascoe
Artist Alan Jones (centre) with musician James Beck and model Yolanda Frost in Jones’ Alexandria studio. Picture: Tim Pascoe

Sydney Art Quartet teams up with artist Alan Jones in Butt Naked II

Alan Jones Studio Press

The Daily Telegraph

By Elizabeth Fortescue

Alan Jones invariably listens to music while he’s painting in his Alexandria studio.

But the artist has never painted in front of an audience to the accompaniment of a live quartet.

“If I think about it too much I break out in a cold sweat,” Jones admits.

The show, Sydney Art Quartet: Butt Naked Salon II, follows the first Butt Naked experience featuring artist Wendy Sharpe last year.

The venue is the Yellow House in Potts Point, which was cemented into Australian art mythology when it was used as a studio and gallery by Martin Sharp, George Gittoes, Brett Whiteley and many other artists in the 1960s and ‘70s avant garde.

Artist Alan Jones and model Yolanda Frost in Jones’ Alexandria studio. In the background are paintings Jones has prepared for live performances of art and music at the Yellow House in Potts Point. Picture: Tim Pascoe

Artist Alan Jones and model Yolanda Frost in Jones’ Alexandria studio. In the background are paintings Jones has prepared for live performances of art and music at the Yellow House in Potts Point. Picture: Tim Pascoe

In a similar spirit to the “happenings” that were once held at the Yellow House, Jones will paint straight on to an interior wall while life model Yolanda Frost poses for him.

“Part of the concept is it gets painted over and it remains part of the building, and I kind of liked that,” Jones says.

“It reminded me of live music. You play it and then it’s gone if you’re not recording it.”

For several months, Jones has been painting large portraits of Frost to hang at the Yellow House where they will become a backdrop for the performances.

Performance artist Clementine Robertson (left), Australian Art Quartet artistic director James Beck and artist Wendy Sharpe presented the first Butt Naked Salon at the Yellow House last year. Picture: John Appleyard

Performance artist Clementine Robertson (left), Australian Art Quartet artistic director James Beck and artist Wendy Sharpe presented the first Butt Naked Salon at the Yellow House last year. Picture: John Appleyard

“The whole thing will happen within a solo exhibition,” Jones says.

Jones lives in Coogee, and plans to prepare the walls by painting them with an evocation of the beachside landscape that he loves.

During the performances he will paint Frost into these landscapes.

But he doesn’t want to have too many fixed plans.

“It’s got to be such an intuitive thing,” he says.

Australian Art Quartet artistic director James Beck says the musicians will play compositions by Peter Sculthorpe, Gerald Finzi and Franz Schubert.

• Alan Jones and the Australian Art Quartet: Butt Naked Salon II, Yellow House, 57-59 Macleay St, Potts Point; November 29 and 30, and December 1, adults only, $85 adults, $75 concessions, sydneyartquartet.com

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