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M. Henry Jones

M. Henry Jones

M. Henry Jones is a Living Legacy Artist at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.


M. Henry Jones is an animator, filmmaker and 3D photographer who uses both simple and cutting-edge technology to engage viewers with his moving images. Jones grew up in Wilson, NY, just outside of Buffalo, where he developed an early fascination with the creation of images and began experimenting with photography, film and animation. In 1975 he moved to New York City, where he attended the School of Visual Arts. He soon became one of many prominent figures in the East Village alternative art space, working with several artists and musicians, and founding Snake Monkey Studios, a concept based out of his apartment on Avenue A.

Jones’ films throughout the 1970s and 1980s transcended the boundaries between moving and stagnant imagery, employing a meticulous and carefully crafted process to give viewers a unique visual experience. His early works are also representative of some of the earliest interactions between music, and films intended to complement its structure; one of Jones’ most widely recognized films, Soul City, is a stroboscopic color film created in collaboration with The Fleshtones. The two-year production of the two minute film required each individual frame of the group’s performance footage to be precisely cut, tinted and rephotographed.[1] The film made its debut on the music and art scenes in 1979 and was unlike anything that had ever been done before. Soul City, along with Jones’ other animations for musicians pioneered the music video artistic concept years before MTV and the rise of music videos as we know them today.

Jones has directed and animated several short films that feature his assorted experimental characters, as well as various web animations and commercial spots.[2] He has also explored 3D photography since the beginning of his career but has focused exclusively on this concept in more recent years. His latest ongoing work, Fly’s Eye photography, employs thousands of photographs that are reconstructed to give viewers a 3D experience by animating the image as you walk past.

Jones’ images and films have been exhibited at several institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Burchfield Penney Art Center. More information on Jones’ work can be found here.

[1] Bruce Bennett, “When Video Frightened the Radio Star,” The Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2011.

[2] Robert Hicks, “Strobes, wheels of fortunes and 3-D photos,” The Villager, archived article, publication date unknown.