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John Taylor



Current show

Winter 2009
Winter 2009


John's ships are based on actual vessels, from Civil War-era river boats to WWI battleships. He has been assembling his ship sculptures since 1997, after a visit home, where he came across a trunk of mementos belonging to his great-grandfather, who had served in the navy during the Spanish-American war. A photograph of the sailor standing on the deck of a ship fueled the spark and John's fixation with ships began to pervade into his daily life.

Working with found objects collected from around his southern California surroundings, John works in his garage on evenings and weekends. His ships are interpretations rather than models, as John works from a particular feeling he may get and want to convey from an archived image found in a book or on the internet. His ships look as if they have been buried or under water for half a century, but their near-disintegrated appearance showcase his ability to fearlessly manipulate detritus, and also display a well thought out methodology. Year after year, John's work continues to increase in complexity and strength, resulting in amazing pieces that appeal to a wide variety of audiences.

"There is only one family ancestor that I resemble, and in the photograph I have of him he wears the military cap and uniform of the Spanish-American War. I never felt as though I belonged to this time, and I still feel somewhat homeless in it. I only fell into making ships by accident, and in a short time I realized I had hit the vein I had always been seeking." John's work is included in many private collections, including the Microsoft Art Collection. John's work was featured in "High Tide", at the Henry Art Gallery in 2003, and at the Boise Art Museum in 2008.

All ship photographs by Heather Taylor.




Past Shows


Winter 2006
Winter 2006


Spring 2005
Spring 2005


Spring 2003
Spring 2003


Henry Art Museum 2003
Henry Art Museum


Summer 2002
Summer 2002


Summer 2001
Summer 2001


Spring 2000
Spring 2000


Winter 98/99
Winter 98/99




John Taylor
John in his studio
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