November 4–December 2, 2022
Steve Turner is pleased to present Suits Me, a solo exhibition by Jon Key that features his first textile works and photographs alongside a selection of new paintings that focus on the artist’s distinctive sartorial splendor. According to Key, the suit stands in as an armor of agency, self-expression and protection. The violet threads weave together family histories, secrets, and love.
A community is stitched into these suits. A layer of protection is embedded in these suits. So too are coded messages that mean something to those who understand the language. I first depicted a violet suit in a painting in 2016. By creating an actual violet patterned suit now, whether you find it garish or tacky, eccentric or Queer, I want you to notice it. It shines. It reflects. It absorbs. It deflects. You will see it.
I did not choose to wear this suit. I was born with it. I was born with dark violet skin. Strange. As I matured, my shirt sleeves and pant legs took form. As my heart grew large, violet veins stitched and weaved bespoke. A gift.
Jon Key (born 1990, Seale, Alabama) earned a BFA at Rhode Island School of Design (2013) before moving to Brooklyn where he began developing his studio and design practices. He has had solo and two-person exhibitions at Carl Freedman Gallery, Margate (2022); Steve Turner, Los Angeles (2019, 2020 & 2021); Rubber Factory, New York (2019) and The Armory Show, New York (2020). Suits Me is Key’s third solo exhibition at Steve Turner.