John John

The Negro Clocks




Unabashed, untamed, unpredictable. The work of John John is rooted in the art of identity politics of the 1980s, and  blends elements of folk art and contemporary with beautiful workmanship. His works have an authenticity that springs from the very exhibitionistic nature of  his working process which continually mines the humor and pain of his own self-narrative.  He credits his artwork as “insanity”and his mediums range from photography to painting to constructions to jewelry. “Picasso once said it’s all one style, it’s all me…and I feel the same way. I’m inspired by me.” John John was born in the South but raised in Chicago. He studied jewelry making, photography, and rehearsal/performance at the collegiate level before leaving for Hollywood in the late ’70s. His life has seen many roads traveled from working in more than a dozen motion pictures (including Steven Spielberg’s 1941) to assisting fashion photographers in Chicago and New York (where he worked with a young Cindy Crawford) to putting up art installations in galleries (where his passion as an artist was fully realized) to his current job as a handyman. John John has been a part of numerous shows in Chicago in a variety of mediums and has four of his comic books in permanent collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art. He describes his life and work as a “beautiful chaos.”

Turning Back the Clocks | Columbia Chronicle