Briefly describe the work do you do.
I am a multi-media artist working with collage, drawing installation and new media.
At what point in your life did you decide to become an artist?
I’ve wanted to be an artist as far back as I can remember. Junior year in high school I made a conscious decision to go for it. I dropped my accelerated math and science classes and took portfolio development instead.
Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.
I grew up in the rural town of Sauquoit and spent most summers in the Adirondack Park of upstate New York. These experiences shaped my appreciation of the nature, a constant source of inspiration for my work.
What types of conceptual concerns are present in your work? How do those relate to the specific process(es) or media you use?
My work is currently concerned with concepts of the natural or more appropriately what is natural. Is there such a thing as nature? Or is it an idealized concept? My work delves into my nostalgic reflections of my past experiences with hiking, travel and the Adirondack environment.
We once heard Chuck Close say he did not believe in being inspired, rather in working hard everyday. What motivates you in your studio practice?
A daily practice is crucial to the success of an artist. If I do not make art I feel empty. Its a crucial part of my existence to be whole.
What artists living or non-living influence your work?
Andy Goldsworthy, Olafur Eliason, Josh Keys, Robert Smithson and Michael Heizer.
When you are not making art what types of activities and interests do you engage in?
I am usually taking part in some kind of adventure sport including: hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, backpacking or trail running.
John Paul Gardner is a prolific multi-media artist who has received numerous awards, grants and recognitions for his work. Gardner’s mixed media collage work is in many private and public collections and is currently represented by Cureeo Gallery. A recent highlight includes JP’s first large scale Museum installation at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center in Vermont.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.