I have heard it said, written by many a copywriter or otherwise at Smokingpipes, that Jess Chonowitsch is a "perfectionist", that he strives for a "perfectionist mentality", and that all of his shapes are inherently "perfect". Besides inaccurately equating that anything can be "perfect", I think to brand someone a "perfectionist" is without a doubt one of the worst labels a critic can attach to an artist. The term implies a sort of egotism, someone beyond "practice shots", above improvement; nay, the very definition is inherently negative, grouped together with such synonyms as 'hairsplitting', faultfinding', and 'pettiness'. At its very roots, the perfectionist minded individual doesn't possess a deep love of being meticulous - which would denote a level of naivete or even innocence. The perfectionist is really just fearful; fearful of making a mistake; the fear of disappointing others; and ultimately, fearful of failure.
Perhaps as an apprentice under Poul Rasmussen, and later Sixten Ivarsson, he might have been held the typical mindset, eager to demonstrate his talent and intensity by measuring his efforts against those of accomplished masters. We've all been there before, most of us knowing full well that eventually the urge grows fainter with maturity.The truth is, nothing Jess has ever done is truly perfect, because perfection, as we've all been taught as school children, is merely an illusion. What drives Chonowitsch, from what I've gathered, is instead a very healthy striving, which has culminated into making "excellence", in the words of Aristotle, "a habit". The difference lays in what he has been trying to do his entire life, namely understanding what constitutes a form to be considered "perfect".
Over a forty year period Chonowitsch has rejected the avant-garde in favor of true forms, tweaking the classic canonical shapes and stripping away the superfluous, as if seeking that fundamental aesthetic identity underneath any object of art. True to that, this shape takes on a rather hard-lined, minimalist approach, distilling the Dublin down to its very essence. In this state, it does not refer to anything other than itself, allowing the viewer to engage in an immediate, purely visual response, and thus answers its own end - which ultimately makes it feel reassuringly complete.