Art of VIBE: Painter John Park Protects Originality Through His Complex Process

For Los Angeles-based artist John Park sculpting comes easy, but it’s painting that’s the real challenge. “I think it’s why I like it,” Park tells VIBE.

Trained as a classical artist at the Rhode Island School of Design, Park was able to break free from the confines of classical techniques into what he calls pop surrealism or “new-contemporary.” “I barely produced when I was painting classical,” he says. These days he incorporates calligraphy, patterns of the tribal and Persian paisley variety into his multimedia, layer and subtract technique. Park will draw patterns then paint layers only to sand it all away later to get “a depth and a texture that you literally can’t imitate with a paintbrush.”

“When I first started out, the marker pattern would take me hours and it would be pretty sparse, but I did this marker pattern in the dark last night in 45 minutes,” he says. As I keep doing these things, I get better at them and it frees me up to be more creative.”

Art of VIBE caught up with the multifaceted artist at the Lightning in a Bottle music festival this summer, where he explained to us the objective behind his painting style.

“That’s the hoi polloi lament of modern art: ‘Oh, I could do that.’ And the answer is always: ‘Well, would you have done it?”

Check out more work by John Park here.