My work is a personal landscape of obsessions, significant finds selected from the chaos of the external world. Through painting I explore my fascination with unease and the unknown, making deliberate use of ambiguity.
There is a rich internal folklore behind my work, within which many disparate elements from the past, co-exist and resonate within the present day.
Working from my own photographs, stills from mass entertainment and online sources, I choose to paint only from those images that trigger a spark of recognition at a deep subconscious level. They are either transcribed intact, or sometimes altered to form new scenes.
The act of painting transforms the chosen mechanical image into a physical, handmade object and at the same time, heightens the emotions and uncertainties that linger just beyond its surface.
John Brennan was born in Liverpool in 1966. Through his painting he explores his fascination with unease and the unknown, creating deliberate ambiguity.
John has been selected for seven open call exhibitions in 2013, including Creekside, Neo, Worcester, Ludlow and The National Open Art Competition.
His growing body of work represents a collection of obsessions that coexist within a personal landscape. Subjects range from the apparent reality of the present day to the recent history of the twentieth century and are based on his own photographs, stills from mass entertainment and online sources.
In 2009 John was an exhibitor in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. At this time he was exploring a growing desire for self expression as a fine artist, but felt constrained by photography.
That same year he rediscovered his love of painting, both as a medium and a meditative process. He came to realise that it offers him a far greater potential to create works with a heightened emotional and physical presence. Since then he’s been developing his practice within a growing body of work.
John originally studied illustration at Liverpool Polytechnic and spent the nineties in London, where he led a successful career as a freelance illustrator, later moving into digital design.
He lives and works from his home studio, near London, in the Buckinghamshire countryside.