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John Petach

John Petach
510 292 9979

Artist Statement:

I am a fine art painter living in Oakland, CA. My early years were spent near the Delaware River in New Jersey.  The landscape of this rural area of the world shaped my interest in the interaction between man and nature.  Old farm buildings, taken over by vines and trees blur the line between whether humans or the natural world have the real dominion.  This dialogue between the power of nature and human construction is a theme which I’ve carried throughout my career.  

The mentors that I’ve had throughout my formal training have helped to develop and strengthen this narrative.  While at Rutgers University, two professors strongly inspired me; Leon Gollub as he transitioned from portraits of Francisco Franco in death to bold terrorism paintings and Lloyd McNeill with his primitive influenced works.  The primal themes in their work showed me a powerful language which I still use in my art today.

After Rutgers I switched coasts and enrolled at California Institute of the Arts. My mentor there was Lou Danziger and his motto of “work, think, feel” still influences how I approach my art. That approach was counter-balanced by the Pop boldness of John Van Hammersveld, my other main instructor while there. He referred to me as ‘the painter’ and although he didn’t mean it as a compliment, I wore it like an honor badge.

While painting and fine art are my passion, the term “starving artist” is not entirely unfounded and they were not my source of income in the ensuing years after graduating. I worked commercially in advertising as an Art Director and lead Designer. During this time, painting became a more personal and private endeavor.  I continued to experiment artistically each evening in my ‘studio’(read: garage).  My art covered the walls of my house and I bartered my work for everything from haircuts to sports cars.

When I moved to the Bay Area 7 years ago, I began selling work in commercial galleries in Southern and Northern California as well as The East Coast.  Recently I was juried into and began showing and selling my work with the Artist Guild of San Francisco. My work on canvas, glass, thick acrylic sheets and concrete assemblages are all a continuation of my artistic exploration. The strength of the natural world and an intuitive approach still guide my abstract work. From the process and action of creating to the concept of man’s hand and nature’s pushback, I use size, organic textures and color to continue working, thinking and feeling my way along this creative path.

© 2015 Artists Guild of San Francisco