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91 He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother, the Artist


That’s my brother Matt Jonsson that you can see in this detail from one of my acrylic paintings that I won’t be selling, lol.  I will share the whole one with you another time but this time I am going to share my brother’s artwork with you instead.

Matt is one of the most talented artists I know – he has been that way since very little when he won competition after completion for drawing and painting as we grew up.  I remember one year’s supply of ice cream and a bike among the prices, several good reasons to love your brother right there eh!

His and my father’s artistic talents were 2 reasons why I did not paint or draw as I grew up as my little scribbles paled into insignificance next to them.  (However that too is another story see 36. How it all began)


My brother went to art school at Stanley Street in Adelaide and of course excelled in everything.  After finishing his studies he combined the love of art with his love of music and traveled the countryside with the enormously popular band THE CLOWNS OF DECADENCE (here is the  art blog about some of their adventures;  25. Shake Rattle and Roll )Matt was the drummer in the band; alias Trolla Bolla Snatcha Razoo and was for the most part responsible for all the amazing artwork that they used both in the elaborate stage props as well as on album covers and posters.


Clowns of Decadence spent the better part of a decade touring Australia and New Zealand from 1988 to the last show together in the beer garden at Adelaide’s Producers Hotel in 1998.  They were a punk rock band and called their style Junk Fusion.  Matt had previously played in Festered Vestoons which to me sounded like a terrible growth and affliction lol, so I was very happy when they formed the new band and became Clowns of Decadence.

Artist Matt Jonsson's sculpture for Blackeby's Old Sweet shop in Adelaide city

One of my brothers artworks

For any of you familiar with my art blogs you would know that our upbringing was circus based so the clowns theme was no stretch (here is a more about that 20. Antonis Tivoli and 21. Life in a Circus Tent )  The band was more than just music; they were a virtual visual feast with juggling, sword swallowing, and vaudeville.  Giant dice were passed around the audience and crowd surfing and other antics a plenty.  If you ever attended a Clowns show you would remember! (see below for the other members of the group, as well as albums and singles)

They also had a strong political message and attended various demonstration and supported many causes – one that I particularly remember was against the vivisection (experimenting on various animals for cosmetic purposes and the like). Yuck!


At the same time during his “home” periods Matt would also be painting and sculpting for various commissions.  If you go into any of the garden shops and the fancier indoor stores and pick out the most elaborate sculpture you can find – chances are my brother made it.  He is also responsible for lots of other artists work too – when they cannot do something themselves they commission him to do it for them.  So most of David Bromly’s sculptures for instance have been designed and executed by Matt Jonsson.


Here in Adelaide you can go and have a look at some of his work on public display in real life, in the following locations.  Blackeby’s Old Sweet shop, 28 James Place – where the whole shop front is designed and sculpted by Matt and his team (my father Ted Jonsson and sister in law Lisa Scott), this location is also very soon going to be the proud owner of an amazing animated display showing the making of sweets which will delight young and old alike.   Or head down to the West End Brewery on Port road and see the display of sculptures by the river or perhaps at David Jones at Christmas time as the entire Magic Cave is Matt’s work, then there are the Pandas at Adelaide Zoo, the emus at Hack Street Reserve in Port Adelaide or perhaps home to the Waffle King on 85b Sturt Street, Dover Gardens.

So go and enjoy, but don’t also forget to come back and visit me.

Before you go here is a quote I like, that fits well here by John Wooden;

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.”

Till next time happy painting and sculpting to you all,

Love Marie xxx

Members of Clowns of Decadence

As credited on the 1994 album Dirty Tricks Incorporated.

  • Lord Stingy (guitars, pyromania, penny pinching)
  • Ocker Bozo (vocals, trumpet, excess)
  • Reverend Spud McGeek (piano, synth, vocals, Guinness)
  • Trolla Bolla Snatcha Razoo (drums, art, mad ravings & bizarre facial contortions)
  • Marshall Benzene (bass, fire cadet, stilt walker)
  • JJ Hi-Jinx (sax, clarinet, fire blowhard)
  • Spako Airhead (guitar, vocals, clown co-ordination)




  • “Big Green Couch Of Hope” (on compilation album  Grind Em Down – 1992)
  • “If Pain Could Turn To Gold” (on compilation album  Let’s Make Cents)
  • “New Age Neurotic” (on compilation album Triple M Presents On The Edge Of The World – 1995)]]

(ref. Wikipedia)                                                                                 (C)

Why not come and have a look at Marie Jonsson-Harrison’s PAINTINGS FOR SALEGICLEE PRINTS FOR SALE and SCULPTURES for sale or WALLBASED SCULPTURES.  Enjoy an original artwork on your walls or perhaps one on your bed ARTnBED.

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