John Collins

I was raised in a small town 40 miles north of Chicago called Grayslake and earned my BFA in 2003 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since 2011 I have been living in Los Angeles and have been working out of my live-in studio in the Historic Filipinotown neighborhood.

As a representational artist, I am always challenging myself to explore new ways to record a multi-dimensional world on a two-dimensional surface. I am currently experimenting with a method of visual documentation that relies more on what I know to be true than on what I see, in the same way you would be able to draw details of your childhood home without actually being in it. By supplementing my memory with resources such as online maps and videos I can draw things like me standing in my studio drawing while the rest of my apartment, the outside of my building, and my neighborhood can be seen in the same composition. I can represent entire events because I am freeing myself from any one specific vantage point.

Another project I am working on is a series of “paint-bleed” portraits where I paint human faces on consumer waste substrates through a cloth barrier, causing the paint to bleed through resulting in unpredictable renderings of human faces on the substrates. Ambiguous in gender and race, the portraits depict the human race grappling with a collective identity in the exponentially more shared existence of the consumer-driven internet era.