John Defeo studied painting and printmaking at Western State Colorado University and at the Florence Academy of Art. His work focuses on the grandeur of nature, unique experiences and the importance of place. Most paintings are completed in the studio relying heavily on carefully revisited memories of places rather than photographs. They are meant to contain the essence of the place -- an expression of what it feels like to be there, rather than a photographic portrayal of a geographic location. The intent of his work is to reference the beauty and serenity of experiences and places to provide a respite from the rigors and turmoil of daily life. At the same time the goal of each piece is to compel the viewer to go out and enjoy the splendours that the world has to offer.
“I paint landscapes drawn from the memories of places where I feel at home: the maple forests of New England, the river valleys of upstate New York, or the mountainsides of Colorado. Unlike the places they represent, my paintings are shaped not by the forces of nature but by the details that I have visually catalogued and indexed in my mind: the colours and forms that have made lasting impressions on me, the ones that visually connect me to a place when I see them painted on a board—It’s a powerful thing a painting, it can be an airline ticket for your heart.”
Defeo’s hope for the viewer is a visual experience that will take them too to a place they’ve been, or a place they’d like to go. Exact locations of his landscape paintings are intentionally kept vague as they have no real bearing on whether he succeeds in his goal of sending you off to a place that you remember fondly.
Art on Fashion® is honoured to be showcasing the works of John Defeo.
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