Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Loaves and Fishes
JOHN AUGUST SWANSON is a prolific artist who makes his home in Los Angeles, California, where he was born in 1938. He paints in oil, watercolor, acrylic and mixed media, and is an independent printmaker of limited edition serigraphs, lithographs and etchings.
His art reflects the strong heritage of storytelling he inherited from his Mexican mother and Swedish father. John Swanson’s narrative is direct and easily understood. His colors are bold and magical. He addresses himself to human values, cultural roots, and his quest for self-discovery through visual images. He loves Bible stories but also tells of everyday life. All his parables "optimistically embrace life and one’s spiritual transformation."

Good Samaritan
His unique style is influenced by the imagery of Islamic and medieval miniatures, Russian iconography, the rich colors of Latin American folk art, and the tradition of Mexican muralists. John  studied with Corita Kent at Immaculate Heart College.

His art is in no way "na├»ve." It is detailed, complex, and elaborate. Unlike many contemporary artists, John Swanson works directly on all phases in producing his original prints. His serigraphs  have from 40 to 89 colors printed, using transparent and opaque inks creating rich and detailed imagery. For each color printed the artist must draw a stencil on Mylar film. This stencil is transferred to the silk screen for printing the color ink on the serigraph edition. The resulting serigraph is a matrix of richly overlaid colors visually striking and technically masterful.

John Swanson’s art is represented in the permanent collections of  museums around the world, including three museums of the Smithsonian Institution.  His painting THE PROCESSION is one of relatively few works by contemporary artists to be selected for the Vatican Museums’ Collection of Modern Religious Art.

The Procession
St. Francis

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