20 Questions to Naive John (www.naivejohn.com).
1: Who are you?
I’m a highly unimportant space/time event enjoying an experience that’s called ‘Naive John’.
2: What is your background?
I went to art school with no qualifications, was later expelled from said art school with no qualifications. Studied art history many years later and attracted the attention of the influential ‘super collector’ David Roberts in 2007. I have been working professionally as an artist ever since.
3: Where were you born?
4: Explain your work in up to 40 words.
I mix together pre-existing materials – originating from the disconnected worlds extracted by Google – culminating in the creation of works that blur the boundaries between computer generated and handmade imagery to explore the hyperreal, self-referential contemporary cultural tensions in our midst.
5: How has your practice changed over time?
The development of computerised 3-d space has revolutionised my practice. I use virtual models and virtual lights to reinvent reality using physics based render engines. In the complementary analogue world I go to even greater lengths than I did previously to erase any evidence of my hand being present in the work. I continue to be enthralled by precision ; for me there are no happy accidents, only tragic mistakes.
6: Do you have a favourite medium to work in?
Oil on aluminium panel running in tandem with software on a Wacom Cintiq 21″.
7: Do you pursue any themes? If so what?
I use art as a methodology to explore reality and perception. To be alive and conscious is to confront mystery on a daily basis. This gives me endless inspiration.
8: What other jobs have you done/do you do other than being an artist?
I served illegal alcohol to bent coppers, gangsters and drag queens in a notorious Liverpool city centre speakeasy. After that normal jobs held no interest for me.
9: What research do you do for your art?
I do a mind boggling amount of research. Currently I’m looking into adapting image recognition technology code – originally developed for Google’s neural networks – as a potential creative tool.
10: What makes you angry?
Animal cruelty, willful ignorance and bigotry.
11: What is your favourite colour?
I don’t have one though I have a passion for colour theory. It has proven useful to learn what 10YR/5/10 means and how to locate and reproduce it in 3 dimensional colour space as well as on a 2 dimensional surface.
12: What is your favourite piece that you have produced?
I don’t think about what I do in that way. Everything produced is part of an ongoing evolution with every part as equally important/unimportant as the next.
13: What music/album are you currently listening to?
Kraftwerk, The Irrepressibles, Yello, Bach, Debussy, Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin and Baroque counter tenors.
14: What makes you happy?
Contentment furnishes constant joy – much covetousness, constant grief. To the contented, even poverty is joy – to the discontented, even wealth is a vexation.
15: What are your favourite films?
Harvey. Metropolis. Arsenic and Old Lace. Night of the Hunter. Nosferatu (original). Koyannisqatsi. Waking Life. Blade Runner. Loads…
16: Favourite place?
17: One or more artists you like?
Glenn Brown, Mark Ryden, Van Eyck, Rubens, Nigel Cooke, Jeff Koons and Robert Williams.
18: What is your favourite word?
19: Professionally what is your goal?
To maintain what I have; to continue working under the radar on whatever holds my interest and get paid for doing so. I’m not interested in raising my profile or exhibiting in galleries; I love art as much as I dislike the artworld.
20: What would your dream commission be?
I don’t like to repeat myself so I only accept commissions on the basis that the patron likes the project I have to offer. All things being equal, I find myself in the enviable position of living my dream.
Telephone: 07761 912901