About

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Oakland-based artist Jon Carling’s work has been described as imperfectly precise, and otherworldly.  Childhood imagination haunts his drawings, as they often swing from pure fantasy to dry terror. Working only with pen and pencil (and the occasional spot of color), he weaves creatures and environments that recall 19th century book illustration, while incorporating transcendent and sinister themes.

“I want people to have an emotional response to my work that reminds them of being a child, when certain details are left out of an image, you use a very special part of your brain to fill in the spaces, and I think that is the key to engaging the viewer, let them write the story for themselves.”

Since graduating in 2002 from Oakland’s CCA with a degree in illustration, Jon’s work has been featured in numerous gallery expos and publications, either in solo exhibitions or alongside his contemporaries in cities across the United States and Italy. Along with those exhibitions , he has made  animated videos, multi-media projections, posters and album art for bands such as The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Entrance Band, Meho Plaza, Agent Ribbons, Magic Castles, Noceans, Voice on Tape, The Lovely Eggs and Ema and the Ghosts.

jon drawing

Past Exhibitions:

November & December 2013
“Silver Cord”
A Collaborative Exhibit
with artist John Casey
Rock Paper Scissors / Oakland, CA

December 2012
“Solo Exhibit”
The Rare Bird / Oakland, CA

September 2012
“UNTITLED ANIMALS”
AG Gallery/About Glamour / Brooklyn, New York

August 2012
“TERROIRISM: landscapes & other fertile fields”
Gigantic Gallery / Portland, OR

August 2012
“World Saving Device”
The Hive / Oakland, CA

March 2012
“Familiar Spirits”
Zuni / Ferrara, Italy

Nov, 2011
“MONSTERS”
Collaborate Photography Studio and Art Gallery / Oakland, CA

April 2011
“A Ghost at Noon” Solo Exhibit
Rock Paper Scissors, Durham, NC

April 2011
“CELESTIAL/TERRESTRIAL”
Fivepoints Arthouse / San Francisco, CA

Feb, 2011
“Past Patterns”
LoPo Gallery / San Francisco, CA

October 2010
“The Devil and his friends”
Strictly Groove Gallery, Reggio Emilia, Italy

October 2010
“Animal Pop”
Periscope Cellars / Emeryville, CA

October 2010
‘Fantastic Beasts’ Drawings by Jon Carling
FM Gallery / Oakland, CA

May 2010
“The dark between a DOUBLE RAINBOW”
The Alternative Cafe / Monterey, CA

March 2010
“Cupcakes and Creatures”
Bell Jar / San Francisco, CA

August 2009
“How do I look?”
WE Artspace / Oakland, CA

August 2009
“The Modern Chimera”
Sweetart Drawing Gallery / Oakland, CA

June / July 2009
Resident Studio/Exhibition
at FORT Gallery / Oakland, CA

June 2009
“Unicorn Mountain”
Mendalson Gallery / Pittsburgh, PA

May 2009
“Luddite Porchlite” Solo Exhibition
Fort Gallery / Oakland, CA

May 2009
Trunk Space Gallery / Pheonix, AZ

January 2009
Solo Show at the Slingluff Gallery / Philadelphia, PA

October 2008
“Reverie”
Fort Gallery / Oakland, CA

Jun, 2008
Solo Show at Bell Jar / San Francisco, CA

May, 2008
“Sketchy”
Autobody Fine Art Gallery / Alameda, CA

April 2008
Exhibit at Brownies Vintage / Berkeley, CA

April 2007
Window Display at 510 Skateboards / Berkeley, CA