My work alternates in style between abstraction, representation and realism, but with an emphasis on surface and personal iconography.
Surfaces are built up layer by layer then abraded, scraped off, altered, and painted over with new layers. This erasure and alteration and elaboration is a physical extension of the internalized editorial process I go through as I paint. My process is best described by the Jasper Johns line:
“Do something, do something to that, and then do something to that.”
A lot of my paintings single out ordinary and overlooked objects as subjects; forlorn and common items and images that deserve elevation or at least a second look. These “things” seem to me to ask questions about significance, permanence, meaning and utility.
John Bridges was born in Beeville, Texas. He was raised along the rusty banks of the Monongahela River south of Pittsburgh and later, in the Sacramento River Delta.
He served three years as an Army Cavalry Scout, and has worked as a store clerk, video editor, teacher, cook, bartender, paralegal, house painter, social worker, and assembler at a manikin factory.
He earned a BA in English from The Colorado College.
Bridges cites Joseph Beuys, Robert Rauschenburg, Jasper Johns, Walt Whitman, Anselm Keifer, Tom Waits, Giotto, and Fra Lippo Lippi as just a few of his influences.
He currently resides in upstate New York, with his wife, Amy and manages the Rhinebeck Artist’s Shop in New Paltz, NY