Born on the 23rd of January 1970 in Tokyo of a British diplomate father and a German mother, Jonathan Meese grew up in a comfortable background. In the mid 1970’s his parents divroce. His mother, very present in his art, moves to Hamburg in Germany with her the kids. His father stays in Japan until his death in 1988. Extremely shy as a kid, Jonathan Meese gains great interest in the artist vocation from a young age and starts to paint at the age of 22.
Between 1995 and 1988, Jonathan Meese studies at the Hochschulde für bildende Künste, School of Fine Arts of Hamburg. Towards the end of the 90’s, he finds himself propelled on to the international scene of contemporary art. His work is exposed in the most prestigious art galleries in the world. Going from Berlin (Contemporary Fine Arts), Japan, Paris (Galerie Daniel Templon), Vienna (Gallery Krinzinger), London (Tate Modern) to New York (Léo Koening Inc Gallery). No one resists to the strange and mysterious trait of his art world.
Known to provoke and irritate, Jonathan Meese is considered as the worthy heir of expressionist painting in his country. He uses the most sensitive and dark aspects of German history to create material for his controversial and ironic art. Through his artworks with hints of modern Neo-Nazi philosophy, Meese leaves his commentary on crucial issues such as revolution, failed ideologies and the power of art. Meese’s paintings, installations and performances convey bipolar, feverish, at times a raw sexual energy can be described as vulgar and grotesque but also grandiose.
The art creation of an artist is a recurrent speech held by Meese during shows. Constantly proclaiming to be a simple medium for what he calls the force of “Art”, but also belonging to a separate reality, “the space of art”, in which he is free to create, more specifically subdued to the injunctions of this exteriority.
However, Meese remains, beneath his rebel appearance, a true romantic who defines himself as a naturally optimistic person and for whom his mother represents a talisman that never leaves him.
The German artist is one of those people who are not afraid to scream and shout when everyone else is silent and because of this particular quality he is either loved or hated by his audience.