Kali’s Dream

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2020

A friend of mine is moving into a new apartment and taking his cat Kali with him. This provided me with the opportunity to give him a “house warming” gift, stay on Kali’s good side, and experiment with a somewhat different form of collage than I’ve done in the past. KALI’S DREAM, a minimalist collage using only card stock, expresses my belief that within every house cat and tabby there is the heart and soul of a tiger. As to why I want to remain on Kali’s good side, I’d refer you to a Google search of Indian mythology, or a couple of hours watching “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”. (2020) (12” x 12”)

 

EMERGENCE

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2020

I suspect that EMERGENCE will be interpreted differently by different people, and to be honest, my understanding of the piece is still changing with events. Originally, I saw the center figure as an act, or form of creation: now I am starting to see it more as a violent, explosive, eruption, like the outbreak of a virus as it starts to spread. My personal insight is that an abstract image may be, or at least is intended to be, timeless, but its message, even to the artist, will be changed by time and circumstances. EMERGENCE is a hand built and raku fired paper clay wall hanging mounted on quarter inch plywood. (2020) (21” x 15” x 2”).

Quarantining

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2020

As we enter week six, (or is it seven?) of staying at home, sheltering in place or self-quarantining and contemplating the economy, the pandemic and the civil unrest it seems that the days are starting to run into each other in a kind of grey fog. Is today Tuesday? When was the last time I was out of the house? What did I fix for lunch yesterday? QUARANTINING is an emotional response to the current situation. Unlike SAINT JOHN THE MOSAICIST it is a minimalist piece using only six pieces repurposed from a couple of uncompleted projects and a drab palette. It may also be an unfinished piece with the potential, like life, to brighten considerably. (2020) (24” x 24” x 2”) ($150)

SAINT JOHN THE MOSAICIST

 

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2020

Saint John the Mosaicist, one of the more obscure members of the pantheon of Saints, is known primarily for never having been observed or heard to have sworn or blasphemed despite spending his entire life gluing small pieces of glass, stone or ceramics to wooden boards. Although most historians believe that he worked in northern Italy during the period 1358 – 1387 AD, no one has been able to authenticate any mosaic pieces from that time and place as having been the work of Saint John the Mosaicist. There are no known images of him and the Church’s canonization records are surprisingly vague. While SAINT JOHN THE MOSAICIST is composed of a hand built, raku fired paper clay “mask”, a border of stained glass strips left over from a prior project and a background of glass tiles and stained glass pieces liberated from the mosaic shard pile at the Abington Art Center, the story of Saint John the Mosaicist has been woven from whole cloth. (2020) (24” x 24” x 1 ½”) ($275)

Staying Home

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2020

STAYING HOME is a collage made out of hand inked, hand pulled collographic prints that were originally intended to be part of my LINEAR THOUGHTS OF AN ARTIST and NAVIGATING THE ROUNDABOUTS series. I came across them as I was simultaneously getting ready to move to Ann’s Choice and diligently observing the covid-19 “stay at home” order.  STAYING HOME is thus both a commentary on existing conditions (including the chaos in my studio) and the result of one of the many “keep/discard/utilize” decisions that I’m having to make every day. Creating it was also one of my self-reward for making a couple of them. (2020) (18“ x 20“)

Kirkland

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2020

It is sometimes surprising how you and your work can be overtaken by events. When I was printing the background and assembling the collage pieces for KIRKLAND the corona virus problem was just starting to be a story and I had no idea that Kirkland, WA would be one of the epicenters. The title for KIRKLAND actually comes from the fact that “Kirkland” is the house brand name used by Costco and the collage pieces are repurposed from a Costco tissue box. What was initially an exercise in combining a hand inked, hand pulled print and found object/recycled materials ended up with more relevance than I could have imagined. (622) (2020) (16” x 20”)

Motherboard

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

MOTHERBOARD is a mixed media, found object, wall sculpture which incorporates the motherboard from a refrigerator, ceramic tiles left over from two backsplash projects, and three press molded and distorted images made from handmade and raku fired paper clay. An exercise in anthropomorphism, it is intended to put a face on and give personality to something that has neither. (2020) (19” x 8” x 1 ½”) (($195)

Aftermath #2

Aftermath #2 WM

AFTERMATH #2, like AFTERMATH #1, was seven years in the making. The main body of the piece is part of a tree limb shattered by Super Storm Sandy in 2012. The only work done to it was wire brushing it to remove dirt and evening the bottom. The base is unglazed bisque fired paper clay. While the original inspiration for AFTERMATH #2 was cleaning up after Sandy, the final impetus to finish it was the images of the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian. (14” x 8” x 7”) (2019) ($225)

Aftermath #1

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2019

 

AFTERMATH #1 is a sculptural piece that is seven years in the making. The main body of the piece is part of a tree limb shattered by Super Storm Sandy in 2012. The only work done to it was wire brushing it to remove dirt and evening the bottom. The base is unglazed bisque fired paper clay. While the original inspiration for AFTERMATH #1 was cleaning up after Sandy, the final impetus to finish it was the images of the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian. (19 ½” x 9” x 9”) (2019) ($245)

THE HALLOWEEN BUNNY in Reclaimed! Show

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2018

I am very pleased to announce that juror Bryant Holsenbeck has invited my welded steel sculpture THE HALLOWEEN BUNNY into the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County “Reclaimed!” Show, a show which is focused on the use of reclaimed, recycled, and repurposed materials. The “Reclaimed!” Show will be located at 301 Hay Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301 and will run from June 28, 2019 until August 17, 2019. This is THE HALLOWEEN BUNNY’S second visit to North Carolina, previously having been part of the “Menagerie – Wild and Wonderful” Show in Washington, NC.