BIOGRAPHY John Cullen ARTIST STATEMENT
Like moth to flame, I am drawn to all things religious and spiritual, to the sacred, and to its profane shadow. This compulsion to invest our spiritual and soulful longings into matter, into signage, symbol and icon; this continues to amaze me. And this takes me into archetypal realms, into animism, alchemy, shamanism, santeria, ancestor worship, into mythologies great and small. As in a steeplechase, I must stop at every street shrine, knock at the door of every peaked roof, and listen intently to the pronouncements of stones gathered in great circles. The task seems to be to trace and rework this primary material in a manner which somehow resonates personal and collective authenticity. The task is endless. Fortunately the trickster appears from time to time to bless me with his humor, to help take the sting out of all this high-minded seriousness.
The assemblage pieces work with darkness. They try to match up personal and cultural shadows with found and arranged details, flotsam, jetsam. These works represent an attempt to articulate the artist's role as mirror and seer. As a therapist, I sometimes work with victims of child abuse, neglect and abandonment, and these experiences seek visibility - a visual wail, lament, dirge. And then there is the respite of old armchair abstraction: emulating and arguing with past masters; restroking the tribal history of mark making; time travel in the netherspheres of color, light, volume, pictorial form, the unrepentant language of the eye. BIOGRAPHY John Cullen b. 1948: St. Louis, Missouri Education B.A., Social Welfare California State University Los Angeles, CA, 1975 M.A., Studio Arts California State University Los Angeles, CA, 1980 M.A., Depth Psychology Pacifica Graduate Institute Carpinteria, CA, 1992 One Person Exhibits
Claremont Community Foundation
Claremont, CA, 1999
"Spirit 'N' Matter"
Claremont, California, 1998
"Semi-Devotional Objects from the Resurrection Series"
Claremont, California, 1996
Quaker Meeting House
Claremont, California, 1995
"Crosses and Other Forms of Opposition"
DA Gallery Pomona, California, 1994
Orange County Center for Contemporary Art
Santa Ana, California, 1982
CSULA Fine Arts Gallery Los Angeles, California, 1980
Los Angeles, California, 1978
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