John Greiner-Ferris

I am a politically motivated visual artist who makes mixed media and assemblages that combine my love of words and images to tell stories. My work has always been, and probably always will be, about the individual and the struggle to maintain their individuality in the face of our society.

I do not believe that life, and therefore art, is a spectator sport. Pictures are something you engage with. The worst thing I can think could happen to my art is if someone looked at it and then said, “That’s nice. Do you want to get some ice cream?” Art should be talked about. It should be fought over.

I need to see the hand of the artist and the mark of the tool. I don’t value polished (sorry Jeff Koons!) What I value are the materials I use–photographic images, collage, cameras, paint, charcoal, acetate, whatever it is I have on hand–and what the materials can do. I value materials and process and spontaneity within the process for what it allows the materials to reveal and I value ambiguity for raising questions in the viewer’s mind.

Therefore, I am inspired and influenced by street art. Decay. Torn wallpaper in an abandoned house. Tarnished mirrors. The remnants of tattered posters left glued on a wall. Graffiti art on freight cars. Paint rags…

…memory, remorse, and anger. Death, tombstones, and graveyards…

…science and technology, nature, and politics. And advertising.

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