“Creating wood figures, some 14 feet high, the Tempe artist draws on the power of American Folk Art.”
Amy Abrams. Click here to read.
Q: If you look really closely, you can see words on the sculptures. What are those? A: They are screen-printed affirmations … each sculpture has its own affirmation, such as “Really amazing,” “Everything will be okay,” “Everything here is wonderful.” Kelly Huang for The Arizona Republic Click here to read.
“When placed together these columns of various width, resemble a forest. they appear as 3D manifestations of his 2D works, almost as if they have stepped out of the paintings.” Jenna Duncan for JAVA Magazine.
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“Both comic and menacing, smart and dumb, This array of decorous patterns revel in materiality.”
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“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.
“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.