Artspace111 announces Now and Them, a solo show featuring the paintings of John Hartley. The exhibition will open Friday, October 18, 2013 from 5:00-8:30 p.m. and will run through November 30, 2013. Enjoy beer and wine by Ben E Keith. Artspace111 is free and open to the public.
John Hartley’s oil paintings honor some of the most tattered and mangled objects from our past: children’s toys. Drawing from his own childhood, Hartley collects once-treasured toys that have seen better days. He then paints these childhood relics on a grand scale full of action, color and emotional weight. Racecars are prepared to zip off the surface at any moment. Toy soldiers are scattered across canvases, referencing the tense battle scenes of modern warfare. A singular light source and blurred figures and shapes create a photographic realism in Hartley’s paintings. His recent paintings demonstrate a deeper exploration into composition and into the interaction between his subject matter.
“Toy soldiers – whether plastic or lead – symbolize to me a popular fascination with the hero and violence. Well-worn lead soldiers and mutilated plastic army men provide layers of meaning. The chips and dings are proof of some child’s vigorous play, but they also symbolize the very real battle scars brought home by war veterans.” -John Hartley
The Ohio native received a BFA in 1986 and a MFA in 2004, both from Texas Christian University. He is currently the director of Gallery 414 in Fort Worth and an associate professor of painting at Tarrant County College Northwest Campus. He has been featured in exhibitions across the state and is in the collections of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Edison State College in Piqua, Ohio.