Marty Jones, Super Heroes Wear Scrubs
Marty Jones’ new series features health care workers — usually alone and captured in personal moments between COVID-19 patient care.
We possess the ability to see our similarities as people, even if we often choose not to do so. Perhaps even more powerfully, we have the ability to focus on our differences, such as race, social status, and disability in order to unite and create mutual spaces of healing and hope. For over 40 years, American artist and illustrator, Marty Jones, has attempted to create such spaces both in his complex personal art pieces and in his commissioned works for international clients.
Marty combines traditional illustration with digital to open conversations about the qualities that can bring us back into harmony. As he says, “All people are people. We must get past the notion that we as humans can exist merely as ideas — not just a specific gender, or a specific political party.” Partially disabled by a degenerative neurological condition for much of his life, he has intimately experienced the gaze of “othering.” His work seeks to bring an acute awareness of the importance of seeing far beyond the superficial to reach an internal understanding and eventually profound wisdom.
Indeed, in a world increasingly driven by division, Jones resists easy distinctions. “I want my work to communicate that we all have value, a value that is not based on how much money we have, or what kind of things we own. This is why so much of my work seeks to bridge the gap between imagination and reality.” Such bridges are desperately needed in these uncertain and potentially frightening times.
Marty Jones has risen to this challenge with his new series, “Super Heroes Wear Scrubs.” Currently consisting of six digitally illustrated pieces, this collection focuses on various health care workers — usually alone and captured in personal moments between COVID-19 patient care. In controlled collapse, these vulnerable heroes are caught in desolate, sterile hospital corridors, inviting us to imagine the complexities of their thoughts and feelings and, as conduits of experience, those of their patients and their families — and, indeed, of the world.
At its best, art can enable us to take advantage of our differences. Marty Jones creates such art — bold and intimate — offering us the opportunity to unite and become better people. Never before has this message been more relevant or necessary to the world.