John is a recycle artist and lifelong New Mexican. His understanding of the diversity of art started with his father, an Albuquerque police officer. John’s first structured art classes were with Frank McCulloch at Highland High School in 1971. He took classes at TVI (CNM) in advanced metals which started his artistic journey. A technician by trade, John has tried his hand at various art media ans styles from jewelry to printmaking, card making, painting, digital photography and laser engraving. For the past twenty years John has been focusing on creating art out of recycled sheet metals embellished with found and scrounged ephemera and memorabilia. He has shown in a variety of galleries and has been a participant in the respected Santa Fe Recycle Festival for the past five years.
My recycle art is strongly influenced by the environment, history, and culture of New Mexico. Initially I was cobbling together recycled wood with memorabilia to tell stories of friends and family, and recall memories from decades traveling around New Mexico. Eventually this led to the creations of vivid and sometimes mythical animal shapes, often painted, then embellished with found and scrounged ephemera.
Every piece of my artwork is fundamentally distinctive because of the different metals I might use, or the collection of objects I might come across. I am still essentially telling a story of sorts; creating a creature whose ‘personality’ is based on the unique circumstances of its corporal makeup. I also experiment a great deal because of the variety of materials I use. It is a process of learning and adapting to new sources of objects and the loss of others.
These organic shapes are an excellent counterpoint to the overwhelming use of parallelograms which make up the majority of contemporary wall art. I also believe that working with recycled material is a vital component of the way I do art, the stories I tell and important for the state of the planet.