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)

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“)

GUILD OF PAPERMAKERS – MCCC EXHIBITION

I am very happy to announce that three of my pieces THE ART OF THE GERRYMANDER, PORTRAIT OF GAIA: 2018, and MEMORIES OF THE FALL will be part of the Guild of Papermakers Exhibition at Montgomery County Community College. The Exhibition will be held in MCCC’s Fine Arts Center at 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422, and will run from May 21, 2019 until June 29, 2019.

GMO #37

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2019

GMO # 37 is a mixed media sculpture using a found object and hand built raku fired paper clay. Somehow, using a purely natural object (a piece of yew root), and something completely manufactured (paper clay), seemed the appropriate way to depict a “genetically modified object”. GMO #37 is part of a series of mixed media sculptural pieces I’m going to be concentrating on this year. For want of a better title, I’m calling it my “Look What I Found” Series.

Prelude

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2019

PRELUDE, part of my “Look What I Found” series of sculptures using found objects and hand built paper clay elements, draws upon my “Rim of Fire” series for its inspiration. The pieces in the “Rim of Fire” series use stained glass and paper clay fired together to depict the early moments of a volcanic eruption. PRELUDE, as its name implies, is of an earlier moment: the clouds of ash are rising but the eruption has not started. PRELUDE is composed of distorted Styrofoam, handmade paper clay, resin, underglazes, and acrylic and enamel paints.

ORACLE

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2019

 

In ORACLE, two High Priests seek guidance in a desolate place amidst a surreal mixture of the natural and unnatural. ORACLE is a mixed media sculpture: the base consists of handmade paper clay using rehydrated scrap clay and recycled newspapers fired together with glass tiles; the “tree” is a found object, part of a yew root from a necessary brush cutting; the “Oracle” is composed of a different type of glass tile than in the base, and the “High Priests” are hand built and raku fired using a different type of paper clay than used in the base. Underglazes, epoxy, acrylic paint and shellac complete the piece – as I said, a combination of natural and unnatural.  (11” x 13 ½” x 7”) ($325.00)

SANDBAR

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2018

SANDBAR, depicting a river sandbar, is composed of stained glass and paper clay fired together to over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit in order to get a depth of color not possible with regular glazes. 5 ½” x 10 ½” x 1 ½”. SANDBAR, along with ERUPTION  and LAGOON  is currently on display at the Arts Benicia Show “Cutting Edge: Nontraditional Glass” in Benicia, California.

BIG CLIPS AND BUMP STOCKS

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2018

BIG CLIPS AND BUMP STOCKS, a paper collage, is a follow up to SANDY HOOK: HOPES, FEARS AND THE NRA and was started after the Las Vegas shootings. Both pieces use the same materials (recycled paper and light cardboard) and tools (scissors, and a paper punch),  recognizing  that virtually nothing changed between the two events except the scale of the massacre which is reflected by the larger size of BIG CLIPS AND BUMP STOCKS. While I would prefer to stop with BIG CLIPS AND BUMP STOCKS, in reality, I expect this to be an ongoing series. Matted and framed to 18” x 24”.

CREATION: BREATH OF GOD

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2018

I have always been interested in how various cultures, including my own, seek to explain creation and our existence. For example, the phrase “breath of God” appears 58 times in the Bible, Old and New Testament, always in the context of creation. My CREATION: THE BREATH OF GOD, a paper collage using recycled heavy paper and light cardboard, draws upon one of these references, Psalm 33, line 6 : “by the breath of his mouth all their host” for its particular inspiration. Matted and framed to 16” x 20”.