John Shelton

15th Annual ARC Salon (2020-2021)

John Shelton

United States

John Shelton

I began painting in 1977 and have progressed to this day in the study of art and art history. I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) specializing in painting with a minor in art history. After graduating, I worked in the field of art through various occupations, as illustrator, graphic designer, antique frame conservator, fine art advisor and continued to pursue fine art as a career throughout the 80’s, establishing in 1988 my own DBA business known as John Shelton American Art. From the early 90’s to the present, I continued the pursuit of art and painting, studying art through the experience of American and European art of the 19th and early 20th centuries, early realism, Barbizon, and Impressionism. I learned through the trade how to sell fine works of art to investors and collectors, helping art lovers build collections from these periods. This experience enabled me to observe how artists of these (and other periods created their works).

When I was a child, I had an inquisitive interest in nature. I loved observing animals and insects interact with their environment and each other. I enjoyed seeing water meander around and over rocks. later in college, I studied geology and learned how rocks were bent and twisted by the forces of nature. This found its way into my paintings. My focus on nature and the natural world began first with landscape painting. I became proficient with that course but wanted to delve deeper into the working from inside nature and I began to paint abstract images of landscapes, fine lines and twisted forms that looked like a myriad of hieroglyphs, psychological ink blots and DNA diagrams. Basically, I was trying to paint nature on an internal psychic and molecular level, and I wanted to leave the interpretation to the audience viewing. Paintings that would be included in this category: The Entrance of Christ into New York in 1984, Acrylic On canvas and The End of Time, Oil on canvas. After this period of abstraction, I turned to the human figure in a more representational characteristic manner to show how we perceive and interact with other humans and the environments around us. I became interested in the art and culture of nations both primitive and academic. I cut figures from board and placed together to create a 3-dimensional painting. This consisted of 300+ figures arranged from largest in the front, to smallest at back and depicting a parade in Mardi Gras like fashion in New York City, with Jesus Christ entering the city with lively marching band. Entitled: The Entrance of Christ into New York In 2000 A.D. Acrylic on board.

The early 90’s to the present, I painted landscapes and symbolic paintings and experimented with textural impasto paint. In 2012-13, I wanted to focus on figurative nudes but was looking to combine some of my earlier thoughts of multidimensional plains and infinite spaces as in my early abstracts. I also wanted to show my appreciation of Pre-Raphaelites and the purity of the works of Botticelli. I did a few works which I refer to as my Quattrocento works. I experimented at first just drawing the figure, but the idea of those thin lines began to creep into the figures. The figures then broke into multi figures. I had studied oil glazing techniques used by artists throughout time and this seemed appropriate to produce softness and transparency.

I have sought to expose my art to the public since my mid 20's. I have entered many shows and won awards in some. I have in the last few years shown my art in international shows: London Art Biennale Chelsea Hall 2017, Great Britain, Solo exhibition Chianciano Terme, Italy, 2017, Florence Biennale 2017, Florence, Italy, VISIONS, ANIMA MUNDI FESTIVAL 2017, Venice, Italy, ALCHEMIC BODY/FIRE, AIR.WATER.EARTH, Bogotà, Colombia at Jorge Jurado Gallery, 2017, ARBOREAL, Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, OH 2017, International Austria Biennale 2018, Vienna Austria, International Art Biennale Basel 2018, Basel, Switzerland, ALCHEMIC BODY/FIRE.AIR.WATER.EARTH, Bogotà, Colombia at Jorge Jurado Gallery, 2018,  ViewPoint 50 Cincinnati Art Club 2018, Cincinnati, OH., Emerging Artist of 21 Century, Donatello's Hall, San Lorenzo Basilica, Florence, Italy 2018, London Art Biennale Chelsea Hall, 2019, Great Britain, ART AS TESTIMONY: Exhibition in Palazzo Medici Florence, Italy, Summer 2019, Solo Exhibition: Nag Art Gallery, Summer 2019 Pietrasantra, Italy, Solo Exhibit: Nag Art Gallery, Fall 2019 Pietrasantra, Italy, GIORGIO VASARI INTERNATIONAL AWARD AT VATICAN PALACE (Palazzo della Cancelleria) Collezionista Rome, Italy, 2019, Top Artist of the Year: Gallia IL Collezionista Rome, Italy, 2019.


* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 15th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.