“These two works (one 2-d and one 3-d) conjure iconic folk art forms and imagery that touch on the sectarian and socially mish-mashed nature of the Arizona experience.” Click here to view exhibition.
Number 51 on the New Times “100 Creatives” list.
“Good work should always … have small isolated figures, fragmented heads, shadow play, words, flowers and small animals.” Click here to read interview.
“Nelson’s work is at once urban and rustic, unsettling and folksy—reminiscent of San Francisco’s Mission School in the ’90s.” Rani Molla. Click here to read.
“By manipulating the relationship between form and symbolism, Nelson encourages viewers to create connections, to assert their own ideas and interpretations. Each painting is a visual crossword or jigsaw puzzle; the rich symbolic metaphors both idiosyncratic and universal.” Click here for Review.
“Painting is a language that is more devious than words, more free to imply and allude, to strike out one way and then circle back, keeping disparate intentions alive. The ambiguous is intrinsically more interesting to me. It forces reexamination and adds tension.” Two new pieces will be appearing in volumes 19 and 20 of Studio Visit Magazine, to be released this winter. See pages 122 and 123. Click here to download volume 19.
“His paintings, drawings, sculptures and video all prokoke a zany delight, thus leading the viewer into Nelson’s own paradoxically jokey view of the universe” Page 34. Click here to read.
“My earliest exposure to visual art involved visits to the Art Institute of Chicago. Growing up near Chicago the earliest work that influenced me was the “Chicago Imagist” art of Jim Nutt, Roger Brown and Karl Wirsum.” Click here to read.
(A Public Art Project by John Randall Nelson and Joe Willie Smith). Fabricated steel fences, gates, cast concrete posts and shade structures. Sited at Matthew Henson HOPE VI Housing Project, Phoenix, AZ. 2013. “Fifty-two sculptural finials with fifty-two unique concrete posts combine to effect jarringly comical juxtapositions of objects and form. Spinning whirligigs and rustic weathervanes create an overall art garden environment that stands like a symbol of locality and remembrance.” Click here to read.
“This Arizona artist’s mixed-media panels call to you from across a room with colorful forms and bold symbols. But when you draw closer, they whisper, with layers of texture and half-hidden words.” Seattle Times by Lynn Jacobson. Click here to read.