Artist Talk John Walter
Thursday 2 February 2017
6 – 8pm
John Walter’s installations seduce the viewer into engaging with complex and often uncomfortable subjects such as HIV through an exuberant use of colour, humour and hospitality.
His work interrogates the social role of the artist by claiming subjects and functions that might typically reside within science, sociology or politics using art as an arena for addressing them. His use of performance is a form of drag that is jestered as opposed to gendered, in which he assumes the role of fool in relation to the viewer in order to empower them as spectators.
Creating fictions that begin with his personal experience and quote the voices of others, weaving them together into new epic works, he produces art that can best described as ‘maximalist’, that values the connections between things rather than their qualities in isolation and interrogates the relationships between humour and seriousness and amateurism and professionalism.
John Walter is an artist based in London. He graduated from The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford in 2001, the Slade School of Fine Art in London with an MFA in 2003, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in the USA in 2012, and is currently completing his PhD in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at The University of Westminster in London.
He has recently been awarded a Welcome Trust Large Arts Award to support his collaboration with Professor Gregory Towers and the Department of Infection and Immunology at UCL and has been selected as the winner of the Hayward Touring Curatorial Open 2017 for his exhibition Shonky: The Aesthetics of Awkardness, which will open at The MAC in Belfast in October before touring to the DCA in Dundee, Bury Art Museum and one other venue to be announced.
Recent exhibitions include: Dark Side of the Moob, Vogue Fabrics, London, 2016; Alien Sex Club, Ambika P3, London and Camp & Furnace, Liverpool, 2015; Courtship Disorder, White Cubicle Toilet Gallery, London, 2015. Trance Time, MODEL Gallery, Liverpool, 2014; Turn My Oyster Up, Whitstable Bienniale, 2014; The Rococo Riots, Vitrine Gallery, London, 2013 and The Oil Baron’s Club, Smart Gallery, Aberdeen, 2012. His work has been supported by funding from The Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England. He was awarded the Sainsbury Scholarship at The British School at Rome 2006-8. His work is held by a number of public collections including The Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool and The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
Artist website: http://www.johnwalter.net/