Barry Leighton Jones "Blue Clown"
Oil on board
“One of the most important aspects of Leighton-Jones’s work is his facination with life’s happiness and sadness through his paintings of clowns. The ‘Fool’ is a central part of human nature, though usually deliberately kept hidden from view; not one of us wants to be discovered for what we really are – lonely, weak, vulnerable, silly, perplexed – and so we wear social ‘masks’. Leighton-Jones deals with this paradox through the image of the clown – a living cartoon, a performing artist, a storyteller – who brings smiles and laughter to people of all ages, who makes ordinary things funny, and transports the audience into a world of fun and delight, even if only for a short period of time. He sees clowns as wise fools prepared to sacrifice their dignity, not only to entertain us, but also to educate and inform us of our own silliness. They are innocent, cunning, simple and complex. To be seen as a clown can be both friendly and threatening, to be painted as one is to be revealed as being intrinsically human.”
(‘Leighton-Jones. A Retrospective 1950-2003’ by Dr Tony Crosse. Official biographer to Leighton-Jones)