Born in Perth and currently living and working in Los Angeles, Jonathan Zawada is a multifaceted designer and artist whose approach has been described as ‘corporate dada’. He has become best known for his varied approach to the discipline of design, working across many different mediums and visual styles including music, fashion and publishing. Jonathan has worked with companies such as Bloomberg, Nike, BMW, Herman Miller, Asos and Warp Records, and exhibited in Los Angeles, Sydney, Barcelona and Paris. His art practice is informed by his early roots in web design, coding and animation and by his further evolution into commercial graphic design, illustration and art direction. He now also works in object design, sculpture, video, installation and painting.
At first look, Sydney-based artist Jonathan Zawada’s uber-saturated oil pantings look to be portrayals of long-studied geographic phenomena, endlessly toiled over to depict the beautiful austerity of nature’s extremities—like the exact coloring and shadowing of an epic sunset, the positioning of a sweaty midday sun, or the wind’s slight exhalation over an otherwise still body of water.
It is an astounding revelation to then find out that Zawada’s paintings are really based off 3D rendered graph data, rather than the realistic landscapes they so genuinely appear to be. The charts he used to model his paintings, which were displayed alongside the artworks in a recent exhibition entitled Over Time at the Prism Gallery in L.A., touch on social and cultural contingencies like “Marijuana usage among year 12 students vs. CD and Vinyl record sales between 1975 and 2000.” Other graphs juxtapose quickly fleeting current events with technological advancements such as the landscape displaying the “Value of land per square meter in Second Life vs. Value of land per square foot in Dubai between 2007 and 2009.”