ABOUT THE ART
“Painting isn’t an aesthetic act – it is a form of magic designed as a mediator between this strange hostile world and us, a way of siezing the power by giving form to our terror as well as our desires...”
The following are the stories about the art that you will see in my Galleries:
My health improves but I am not yet in remission. Last year was a roller coaster of pain, hope, gratitude and a few group shows that were talismanic to me. 2023 has begun with much introspection and a need to make changes in my life and art. I have been resurrecting old artwork, learning from the process. I've also been looking back at work done during the last three years, trying to see some clues as to where I might be going next.
RECENT WORK: 2020 / 2021 / 2022:
Covid continues and we begin to adjust. My art changes, slowly casting off the festive gaity that was born in Mexico and growing a new, more pensive, melancholic skin. In 2020 and '21 I experienced covid symptoms many times but was always test positive. None-the-less my body seemed always drained of energy and I accomplished little in the studio. Early in 2022 I was diagnosed with emphysema and stage 4 prostate cancer. This brought rough times but also reminded me of the realities of mortality. I am beginning to navigate physical and mental challenges through my art.
PAINTINGS AND MIXED MEDIA 2020:
The year of The Covid. Surreal is the new normal and we are all lost in this sudden and unexpected pandemic. Art has been slow to emerge as energy is spent on survival. What emerges must be born, in part, by this plague, this angel of second chances.
THE MEXICAN PAINTINGS 2019 -
I had been working with mixed media assemblage for over two years and was hungry for just pure painting. Confluence. A friend connected me with an Art Residency in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico. I applied and was accepted. These paintings represent my reunion with painting, my reunion with Mexico and all of its mystery, magic and memories.
WALL BOXES - Demented Confessions
I live in my studio and shelf space is devoured by sculptures, books, Mexican ceramics and ephemera with potential.
An observant friend remarked that if I still wanted to create mixed media sculptures I must now make them to hang on the wall. So I did. Definately a winter hibernation adventure, bluesy in the cave wrapped in furs kind of self indulgence, confession time, out of mind.
The wall box pieces in the Gallery are made inside of reversed, 2" deep 'cradled panels'. The 'Mixed-media' includes: fired and acrylic stained clay, doll parts, feathers and found ephemera.
MIXED MEDIA SCULPTURE - Inner Portraits
After many years I rediscovered the joy of working in clay. The faces in these pieces are a reinterpretation in 3D of my painted Inner Portraits and each sculpture represents some aspect of my life. The images emerged with the same intuitive conjuring of form and with a build from intense and textural mark making. At the same time I inherited a basket full of doll parts. I have been playing with them since, in these free-standing sculptures and in the wall box series.
PAINTING - Inner Portraits
My main body of painted work until 2015 explored the metaphorical, psychological and literal meanings of The Mask; the mutability of Face; and the idea of Inner Portraiture.
These mysteries dance into my studio seeking recognition and expression. They are reflections of everyone I am and have been; of people I know and have known. They wear the masks I wear, are painted for ritual and carnivale and birthed by dream and poem. They are ghosts passing through, spirit guides, jesters and oracles. Many make me laugh, some are too tragic for words and all emerge from a deeply personal and ancient journey.
Perceptual Spirit Portraits of my 'family', in and beyond blood.
These are not on the market. NFS.
Media for every mandala is coloured marker. Size varies.
Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing any of my art or just want to share an idea or two.
Where you are now is my professional website. It is created with the single intention of showing my art in as simple and as formal a context as possible.
I am also on Instagram, (@johnclinock) and my posts there are more informal although often more up-to-date than this Portfolio site.