New works by John Wentz continue to push realism beyond its contexts.
Growing up and even today one of my favorite paintings in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is Gauguin’s enigmatic painting titled, without punctuation, D’où Venons Nous Que Sommes Nous Où Allons Nous—Where do we come from What are we Where are we going. He called the questions the “ever-present riddle” of mankind.
Today, artists explore the riddle assisted by the discoveries and theories of psychology, the sciences and cyber technology that makes searching and making connections easier.
John Wentz knows where he comes from and is exploring the what in the context of Jungian archetypes as he nudges “realist” painting beyond its historically rigid contexts. He began copying panels from Spider-Man and
Batman comics and ventured into a career in commercial art but changed course and received his BFA in painting at Academy of Art University, San Francisco. The traditional academic curriculum gave him a strong technical and aesthetic base. It’s a base from which artists have gone on into abstraction as well as a realism that is more than a rehash of the past, rather a vital mode of communication today.
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