I make a living doing what I love; I guess there isn’t much more you can say about that.
The only thing consistent about by work seems to be its inconsistency.
All the best, John
When first asked to write an artist’s statement, unsure of what to say or how to say it, I researched what other artists had written and tried to follow suit. But that’s not me. What really happened is that I was born in a very small town in northeastern Pennsylvania to parents who were not very interested in the arts. I had very little exposure to them (the arts, that is) – except for a singular memorable visit to the local museum where I was captivated by the paintings I saw. It wasn’t until my 20s, after an unrequited love affair and a subsequent year of emotional numbness that I picked up a pencil and started to draw. It was a magical moment. Finally – a creative means of escape for everything as yet unexpressed in me.
I remember standing in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and looking at the paintings of the Old Masters. They had such depth I felt I could almost walk into them. Other works of art seemed as flat as the walls they were hung on. I remember deciding that I would learn how to paint that way. What followed were decades of experimentation. Fortunately, the creative process became its own reward because there was no encouragement from family and friends at the time. I began to understand that the creative process can be a very solitary existence.
Luckily, my grades in school made it difficult to get into a college or university to major in art. Looking back, I do not regret that.
As the years ensued, I searched for jobs that required little or no thought so that I could spend my time studying painting and philosophy. I believed that I had to work to support myself and my family. But the painting I was doing was only for me. Curiously, when I decided to paint only what I wanted to paint and did not care if I sold anything – that is when my work started to sell. It was one such day while I was working on a mural as a maintenance painter at a hotel complex where Michel Roux – then the Absolut Vodka importer - happened to be having lunch that my life changed. He saw my work hanging in the restaurant and commissioned me to do one of the ads. The notoriety that followed was the catalyst I needed to pursue art full-time. The next 20 years were a feast or famine existence (thankfully more feast than famine as time went on.
In my mid-sixties, I cannot escape the feeling of just beginning.
Major Magazine Publications.
Art & Antiques
Art & Auction
Art in America
Chicago Sun Times
Sunstorm Arts Magazine
Kansas City Star
The New Yorker
San Diego Magazine
(Images and Tastes of the Green Fairy)
Absinthe, History in a Bottle
(Special Crillon Importers Edition)
Miles of Mules, History with a Colorful Kick
Galleries and Shows;
Absolute Americana Gallery, St Augustine, FL
Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, NY
Adler & Company, San Francisco, CA
Ballet Theater Pennsylvania
Chadds Ford Gallery, Chadds Ford, PA
Connoisseur Magazine Reception, NY, NY
( Abslout Artists of the 90’s Show)
Dorothy Dickson Darte Center, Wilkes University
Eglise Saint-Denis, Tourtour, France
Dumont-Landis Fine Art Princeston, NJ
Everhart Museum, Scranton, PA
French Embassy Cultural Services, NY, NY
Galeria Gotanda, Tokyo, Japan
Galerie Atelier, Philadelphia, PA
Gravely Gallery, Washington, DC
Harrisburg Art Association, PA
H. Dana Becker Gallery, NY, NY
Ladman Fine Art, New Hope, PA
Laura Larkin Gallery, Delmar, CA
Michael Kisslinger Gallery, NY, NY
Morgon Gallery Blakeslee, PA
Newman Galleries, Philadelphia, PA
Payton Rule Gallery, Denver, CO
Pennsylvania Medical Society Auxiliary
Roxx Ltd. Artshowcase Gallery, Baltimore, MD
Seagram Museum, Ontario, Canada
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Summit Gallery, Ltd. NY, NY
Widmann Gallery, King’s College, Wilkes Barre, PA
William Ris Gallery, Stone Harbor, NJ
Channels 16, 22 & 28. ABC, CBS, & NBC News Affiliates
Channel 13 New York City – PBS, Prestige TV, Tokyo, Japan