I investigate issues of identity. Sometimes I explore my own identity by reflecting upon those issues that affect my experience as a mid-life male, a gendered identity constructed from historical and current sociocultural influences. Other times I explore more universal issues of identity.
My concern about the stereotyping of turbaned people resulting from the 9-11 tragedies reflects my concern about humanity’s proclivity to categorize (marginalize) others based upon typecast appearances. As I examine myself, I explore issues of masculinity, male heterosexuality, and class identity. As I explore cultural identities, I examine issues of racial and gender marginalization. I then share my introspections through my visual work. I seek to raise questions, not to dictate answers. While the questions that I raise are not new, I attempt to contextualize them in contemporary terms. I believe that meaning is created once something can be related to personal experience. Ultimately, I will consider my art successful if the viewer can relate personally to the questions suggested by my imagery.
In 1856, the Japanese artist Hiroshige did a famous series of woodcut prints titled: "One Hundred Famous Views of Edo." Edo was to become Tokyo.
In 2008 the County Board of Supervisors voted to rename 11 departments and agencies and create two new ones all with the "OC" brand name. What views invoke the identity of Orange County, now officially referred to as "the OC"?
I am currently engaged in a project called: "One Hundred Famous Views of the OC." What differentiates my project from that of Hiroshige is that all images are from locations that are chosen by volunteers who respond to an open call placed on the Orange County, CA Craigslist.
Rather than woodcut prints, the views are photographed using a Mamiya-7 6x7 medium format film camera. Color images are shot using Fuji Velvia 100f, RP 100, or Provia 100. Black and white images are shot using Agfa Scala 200.
Follow the progress of the project at:
Sponsored by C.A.P. (Community Art Project)
June 20 - September 19, 2009
Wells Fargo Bank, 260 Ocean Avenue, Laguna Beach, CA
Artists Reception: August 8th 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Copyright John Newlander Fine Art. All rights reserved.