John Singletary


Jackson's Painting Prize 2023
Charcoal, Oil
91 x 61 cm

“My work explores death, life, trauma and spirituality through the lens of historic, mythic, and mystic parable and iconography. I am entranced by the ability of religious stories and folk tales to achieve specificity while also evolving in their interpretation and application over time. I often work in a figurative manner and explore the ways in which the human body exists within a space both physically and metaphysically, focusing on moments of grief, vulnerability, and intimacy. This work is also rooted in the exploration of blackness as a concept and identity. My blackness is intertwined with grapplings of death and loss, and my work explores this close proximity to death.

My physical process is much about allowing my materials to move where and how they want to be moved. It is a delicate push and pull of freedom and control as I honor my tools and slowly find my figure through manipulation and alchemy. This process allows my figures to be imbued with intimacy and honesty, as well as a deeply natural and vast tone of grief. The life of a thing is filled with deaths, and allowing my material to live means allowing it to die over and over.”