"Monkeys" by John Carlson

“Monkeys” 36×48″ oil and charcoal on canvas

The paintings are observations and  constructions of the human condition. I use paint and charcoal to make visible my emotional reactions to a subject. Many of the earlier works have a particular shade of yellow that I used to recall the ‘yellowing’ of old newspapers. My intent was to engage the viewer through a sense of longing for the past, but at the same time question the function and reliability of our memories.

 As my work evolved I began to become fascinated by how complex we are as people but are only here for such a brief time. I began to render the figures in black and white to illustrate the fragile and transitory nature of our existence. In some of the paintings I would place some sort of passage, a brush stroke of the color red to signify the life force and in some cases a sense of hope.

One Comment on “Paintings

  1. John,
    I enjoyed our conversation at the Riffe Center reception last night. Your use of transparent layer to create a textured ground effectively showcases the naive-like (Georges Rouualt) flatness of the figures. The figure with the baboon? and the “Self Portrait” are immediately striking.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s