Friday, July 11, 2008

Spotlight: John Copeland

John Copeland is a New York based artist who is well known for his large-scale, acrylic paintings and graphite works on paper which reflect “how we get along or don’t, social issues, conflict, and how we manage to keep going in this crazy place we live in." Images of undefined faces, skulls, television sets, cartoon characters, airplanes, and animals are repeatedly found in his work. I find many of his paintings to be at once both dark and whimsical. All his work demands closer inspection to see what in fact might be going on. He has exhibited internationally and currently is part of a group show in New York.



John also creates journals and this is the format that drew me to John and interests me the most. He told me that he started journaling in 1996 as a student of Barron Storey (whose own website is worth repeat visits) at California College of Arts and Crafts. John is now working on journal #27. He said that he has gained a lot of discipline and skill from working small scale in these books, with every page being finished. Over time, his journals have reflected his evolution as an artist. He told me that as he has recently been putting more emphasis on his larger works on canvas and paper, the pages in his journal have become less worked and fully painted. Sample pages from his journals can be found on John's website. I find his pages to be raw, exciting, unique, grungy, mysterious, and thought provoking. See for yourself:














14 comments:

mcdc3s said...

Very nice. Absolutely something you could sit down and long and leisurely admire. A lot to look at.

lynne h said...

wow. i'm speechless... what an artist... every page speaks to you.

must go back and look and then re-look.

kathy mccreedy said...

Hi Seth, Thanks so much for the new artist to checkout. His journal work is amazing! I promise to check his site out... love the exposure to new and interesting people/art/things/ideas! K.

rivergardenstudio said...

Hi Seth, John Copeland's journals are wonderful! Such great colors and design. I have some awards for you waiting on my blog! Roxanne

Kelly Kilmer said...

Storey AND Copeland are two of my favorite artists...

Storey for a long time.

Barron has a blog, btw:

http://barronstorey.blogspot.com/

He has 2 books available of his work (Marat Sade Journals-they are planning to republish so don't spend an arm & a leg for it...). The new book is Life After Black. I have both and they are true treasures.

John Copeland also has a book available which is another huge favorite!

In my opinion, Barron Storey is one of the most under appreciated artists on the face of the planet. The man is a true genius.

You can see bits of his influence reflected in his student's work like: Juliana Coles, George Pratt, Bill Koeb,Dan Clowes, Peter Kuper, Kent Williams, etc...

Not to mention the countless artists who have been influenced by him like Dave McKean, Bill Sienkiewicz, David Choe and David Mack (to name a few).

Go out of your way to hunt down Storey's work. He is amazing...plus all of the artists above-pure inspiration.

notmassproduced said...

thanks for this - this work is amazing

Leslie said...

Very inspiring work here. Thanks for the eye-opening, Seth.

vivian said...

thank you for sharing this... very awesome. (i have got some awards for you on my blog too!)

Jazz said...

You always have the coolest things for me to drool over.

notmassproduced said...

ps - I've nominated you for an award - please pop by and collect it :o)

seth said...

Thanks to all for leaving comments here. I am so glad that you are as inspired by John's work as I. Vivian and notmassedproduced: extra thanks for the blog awards. And Vivian, can you email me the link to your blog. I cannot access it from your comment. Thanks!

Dina said...

I find his work so powerful and moving. Thanks for the link.

Lisa Hoffman said...

Alright.
NOW you have my attention - not that you didn't already have it.
I love it when you can "hear" the artists internal scratching...poking...sifting.
This is good....REALLY good.
You had a conversation with this guy? I would have traded my Eddie Izzard tickets to have been a fly on the wall.
Thanks Seth!

bockel24 said...

wowowow, this book seems to be a hoot! I love it!