Meet the artist Naive John

The Naif

Brief introduction of yourself

I am self-taught and consider myself to be a craftsman first and foremost – my prime interest being in creating images. I love vintage cartoons and Eastern philosophy. Making a painting is, for me, very labour intensive and, I like to think, an extension of my spiritual practice rather than a conventional attempt to gain status, fame or wealth. Making such a picture – with both the micro and the macro in mind – nurtures attention and prolonged concentration; this, in turn, feeds into my meditation practice. I am prone to magical thinking and have a well developed sense of the Absurd, preferring the fantastic over the mundane. Ultimately my goal is to make the viewer feel something which can’t be described in words and which borders on the psychedelic. I rarely exhibit but despite this apparent handicap I have some pieces in very good collections including The Hunterian Museum, Glasgow and The David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF).

The Other

Does your work engage with current events (and how)?

I avoid the particular in my work; no references to events or overt politics shall be contained therein. My interest lies in the more ubiquitous question of what it is to be alive and conscious – what is it to be aware? I litter my paintings with self-referential puzzles and symbols, using colour, light and edge control to conjure up a hallucinatory effect in the viewer. Each tiny section is painted with great care to ensure that the whole is imbued with a magick sensibility.
The Chav-ant Garde

The Chav-ant Garde

Can you describe your typical working day?

I alternate between working digitally and drawing and painting while listening to music. I start late in the morning and finish late in the evening, seven days a week.

Which techniques do you want to try next?

I am currently teaching myself digital sculpting and Hyperrealist painting techniques to invest my new pictures with a greater level of intensity than I could previously muster; making the unbelievable unbelievably real. Also I’m trying printmaking for the first time – mostly etching and screenprinting. Learning new things is fundamentally good for us.

Nothing Divided by Zero

Which painting would you choose for your living room and why?

Anything by Glenn Brown, Mark Ryden or Louie Cordero. Their works exhibit an admirable balance of craft and concept.

The Rat Race

More about the artist

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