PROPHET

© JOHN FANSMITH 2017

PROPHET, like WATCHER OF THE NIGHT and HARBINGER, is part of my summer flirtation with Hooded Figures. The title to PROPHET was not planned but rather my first reaction to the completed piece – the facial expression and “body language” expressing my mental image of what a Prophet would, or should, look like. Hand built and raku fired paper clay. 6 ½” x 2” x 2”.

GREEN MAN: SUMMER

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2017

GREEN MAN: SUMMER is the fourth and last piece in the “Seasonal Green Man” series. It was the last because, of the four seasons, Summer is the most difficult one for me to visualize and express. I clearly “see” the colors and tones of Autumn, Winter, and Spring, but Summer is different and more of a challenge for me because I think I see it as a transition from Spring to Autumn rather than as having its own definition. Matted and framed to 18” x 14”

 

GREEN MAN: SPRING

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2017

GREEN MAN: SPRING, like the others in the “Seasonal Green Man” series is a collage created with pieces of hand inked and hand pulled hard plate monotype prints designed specifically to reflect the new growth colors of Spring. Again, while the primary and secondary contours remain essentially the same, the seasons have changed. Matted and framed to 18” x 14”

XOLOTL

© JOHN FANSMITH 2017

In the Aztec religion Xolotl was a powerful and fearsome figure, the twin to Quetzalcoatl and Lord of the West who guarded the Sun as it journeyed through the night. My XOLOTL, while inspired by the Aztec deity, cannot be described as “fearsome”, unless, of course, you happen to be terrified of garden gnomes. Hand built of paper clay, glazed and fired to Cone 6. 8 ½” x 5” x  4”.

 

Untitled

© JOHN FANSMITH 2017

In most of my work, regardless of medium, I’m a story teller making a comment or statement from my own particular (or peculiar) point of view and the title is an integral part of the piece. UNTITLED is different: I’m leaving it up to each individual viewer to see what they will in the piece and to set their own narrative as to what has happened, is happening, or is going to happen. UNTITLED is a hand inked and hand pulled double plate collographic monoprint which uses one of the plates from the AN AMERICAN FACE Series and an offset mat. Matted and framed to 16” x 12”.

 

 

Watcher of the Night

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2017

From the earliest days until the present, in myth, legend and story, the hooded figure has been seen as a figure of mystery, a concealed identity and thus a source of apprehension. Only when the hood is thrown back and the identity revealed does apprehension turn to fear – or relief.  Throughout the summer I’m going to be exploring the hooded figure in a number of different contexts, using individual and groupings as well as a variety of different materials and surface treatments. WATCHER OF THE NIGHT is hand built and raku fired paper clay. 7” x 2 ½” x 3”.

 

 

ON SUBWAY WALLS

 

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2017

Like …AND TENEMENT HALLS, ON SUBWAY WALLS is a colored paper collage which draws from the Simon and Garfunkel song The Sounds of Silence. While the materials and palette in both pieces are essentially the same (heavy paper/ thin cardboard – cut from advertising and packaging materials), changing the background from white to black and eliminating internal “negative space” darkens the tone and sets the piece underground. In the song, the phrase “on the subway walls” precedes “and tenement halls”, but for me, in doing the collages, the initial working image was of a cityscape and the subway developed as a companion piece. Matted and framed to 12” x 16”.