I like to consider myself an obtuse combination of titles and descriptors such as graphic artist, typographer, designer, curator, writer, and observer. As a graphic artist and designer I have lofty goals to challenge the medium and the perceived rules of design. I continually ask questions and attempt to visually express my impressions and experiences. As a curator I am intrigued by the notion of collections; whether they are personal, commercial, institutional, or private, I believe everyone collects something. For me writing is a necessary way to decipher, interpret, process, and organize many of the thoughts and images that repeatedly flicker in my head. Lastly, as an observer I feel the need to pause, bare witness to my surroundings, and document a singular moment which I might find poetic, odd, or quietly important.
“bits and pieces put together to create a semblance of the whole.”
by Lawrence Weiner
For inspiration and influence I often ponder the statement and artwork by Lawrence Weiner, “bits and pieces put together to create a semblance of the whole.” Using association as a base point in my design I often combine elements with uncanny exaggeration. My independent work involves visually complex collages of ephemeral and appropriated imagery (of questionable origin) and I often reuse my own images. Commonly, my work is an illustrative blend of layered imagery, typographic patterning, commercial printing references, word play, and geometric abstraction. While I can create clean and orderly designs and I actively appreciate fussing over minute details, much of my personal work depicts an element just beyond control. In contrast, I enjoy leaving certain elements to chance and structured order decisively askew.
My current design work comes from an increased interest in publishing self-authored works. For many years I have created and maintained visual journals. Now I want to revisit my past work through a cohesive and intentional process, examining what was of interest, however briefly, in the past fifteen years. It is a challenging endeavor to blend poetry, documented observances, and visual ephemera that I have created. This is not an attempt to publish my portfolio of past works, but a process of examination that translates and transcends captured and collected time. I hope to construct a unique narrative arc, in contrast with typical memoirs or autobiographies. Ultimately I hope to form my poetry, short stories, photographs, illustrations, obscure notations, and sketches into an innovative publication.
John Page Corrigan