Every month as a part of our Third Friday open house, we welcome a new local 2D artist to showcase their work in our East Gallery. This month, our gallery is adorned with the amazing paintings of artist John Vincent King III. In addition, one of our independent glass artists, Jon Biscan, created three blown glass pieces inspired by Johnny’s work which are currently on display in our Glass Gallery.
Johnny King traveled from Missouri to New York, Montreal, and San Francisco before finally making New Orleans his home. His education was garnered from his experiences in all of these amazing cities as well as from the artists with whom he lived and worked.
Inspired by the deep colors found in nature and the vibrant shades of New Orleans and its cast of many characters, Johnny seeks to interpret all he sees and experiences in a rich, varied color palette. Though the works flow instinctively from within, he has subtly woven into them inspirations from many different traditions…Celtic knot work, Mayan glyphs, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and Pacific Northwestern totem animals, to name a few.
Finding silence, balance, and a place to rest within the rich experience of life is incredibly important to Johnny, and he seeks that same balance within his work. His early paintings covered the entire surface of the canvas but in recent works what is left unsaid is equally as important as what is recorded. Before written language, humans used pictures to pass on the stories of their ancestors. Through these paintings Johnny tells the story of his own journey, and hopes to unlock a sense of calm, balance, and mystery within each viewer. He looks forward to expanding these designs even further as murals, prints, and sculptures.
I love being on this planet. I see beauty everywhere around me, especially living in an amazingly inspiring city such as New Orleans. Simply riding my bike down the street I can’t help but stop and notice the amazing reds, oranges, yellows, and greens of a beautifully blooming flower. One walk down a New Orleans sidewalk and I”m captured by the delicate pinks of another flower growing out of a crack in the sidewalk. Even on a mundane day, running errands, I’m treated to an impromptu parade of Mardi Gras Indians coming down the street, feathers blowing in the wind, tambourines ablaze, and that magic-hour sunlight cascading through a headdress.
Lately I’m fascinated by patterns found both in nature and in the human body. I’m inspired by the relationship between the water and land masses in the Mississippi Delta and how these patterns are almost mirrored in the bronchial airways of the lungs. I return to the studio, not to capture what has already been so brilliantly created, but to express in color, shape, motion, and pattern what these visions inspire within me. I feel that I am participating in the creative process of life when I mix the exact color that’s in my mind and apply it to the canvas. Colors have always spoken to me in the same way words and music do to others. There is a relationship between line, shape, form, and movement and I hope to express in a painting a bit of my own journey, in the same way stories were once told through Mayan glyphs and Celtic knot work.
While painting I’m in dialogue with the very colors on the canvas. I’m guided as I paint, and move across the surface of a painting as though in a dance.
Li Pasas Trans La Rivero Per Ponto will be on display at Third Degree through Wednesday, October 16. See more of Johnny’s work on his website, or stop by to visit! We’re open Monday-Saturday 10:00a-5:00p & Sunday 11:00a-4:00p.