Seasons LA is proud to announce, Hello., a much anticipated United States debut of the remarkable works of Glasgow-born, Liverpool-based Naive John. Both a cult-followed enigma and influential painter to a generation of artists, working in surrealism, comic-book influence and digital-real application, Naive John’s US debut is full of winks and nods to pop-culture, politics, social media, folklore, literature and art history.
Naive John is a self-proclaimed purveyor of absurdism, a contemporary eye for our very contemporary chaotic times. Through what appear to be household cartoon characters but entirely of his own creation, John painstakingly reconstructs his own digital compositions by hand, using pen, pencil, acrylics and airbrush to complete the works. His technical skill is unmatched, personal and with a machine-like meticulousness. Each painting or drawing appears to have the human hand stripped from its creation, and yet that is John’s ultimate intention. How do you convey human emotions by seemingly omitting the artist’s hand? How do you tell the history of art while simultaneously using techniques and methodologies that are brand new and revolutionary?
But these works aren’t cold and neither is Naive John. There is warmth and humor, a subliminal conversation with the viewer. His painting and drawing titles cite Jean Genet, 19th century philosophy and even self-portraiture. These dialogues are where John’s absurdism is highlighted. In these jokes and observations, that are very much part of our real world and historical understandings of art and culture, John’s works are hypermodern, a result of mastering the technology of the moment, and then reapplying his findings onto paper or canvas. With the rawest of materials, he employs the computer to paint what appears to be a digital rendering. He’s playing with time, playing with surface, playing with materials, playing with history, playing with the modern world. The results are a blend of time-intensive dedication and immediate pleasure.
In each work in Hello., Naive John is reimagining the ways in which an artist can be both a storyteller and experimental craftsman. Like a scientist in the lab, Naive John is creating new compositions to ponder, new textures to explore, new lost tales to retell. Hello. may be an introduction and debut, but it's ultimately a life’s work from one of the great painters of our time.