Photo of John Bankston

John Bankston

San Francisco, CA, United States

Artist's Statement: When I begin a painting, my first concern is how to integrate painting and drawing. In fact, my work is primarily concerned with the practices of painting - the technical aspects of moving paint around to create an image. But in doing that physical act I allow narrative into the work. The painting itself is a narrative of its making. My paintings and drawings engage the visual language of coloring books. In general, the work deals with transformation and identity. I approach these ideas from different levels. A coloring book page is about transformation. Through the act of applying color, the page goes from being a general image to a personal expression. I want the viewer to be aware of the "color" or ethnicity/identity of the characters in the work. I hope the viewer will think about a blank coloring page and the choice one can make in terms of identity when coloring the image. The setting for the work is a fantasy land; a place where the inhabitants are free to become the characters of their most secret desires. At the same time, the characters in the drawings are rooted in my day to day experience of life in San Francisco (perhaps a kind of fantasy land itself). The idea of “fantasy” is often thought of as nothing more than frivolous escapism. But I like to think of fantasy as a way of envisioning our world anew. It is a means of stepping outside of one’s known territory; a means of breaking boundaries.

John's ArtPrize Entries

These are John's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.

  • Photo of The Explorer

    The Explorer

    2015 ArtPrize Entry John Bankston
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John's Past Work

These are images of past work that John has done.

  • John's past work
  • John's past work
  • John's past work