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John Cullen
Like moth to flame, I am drawn to all things religious and spiritual,
to the sacred, and to its profane shadow. This compulsion to invest
our spiritual and soulful longings into matter, into signage, symbol
and icon; this continues to amaze me. And this takes me into archetypal
realms, into animism, alchemy, shamanism, santeria, ancestor worship,
into mythologies great and small. As in a steeplechase, I must stop at
every street shrine, knock at the door of every peaked roof, and listen
intently to the pronouncements of stones gathered in great circles. The
task seems to be to trace and rework this primary material in a manner
which somehow resonates personal and collective authenticity. The task
is endless. Fortunately the trickster appears from time to time to bless me
with his humor, to help take the sting out of all this high-minded
The assemblage pieces work with darkness. They try to match up personal
and cultural shadows with found and arranged details, flotsam, jetsam.
These works represent an attempt to articulate the artist's role as mirror
and seer. As a therapist, I sometimes work with victims of child abuse,
neglect and abandonment, and these experiences seek visibility
- a visual wail, lament, dirge.
And then there is the respite of old armchair abstraction: emulating
and arguing with past masters; restroking the tribal history of mark making;
time travel in the netherspheres of color, light, volume, pictorial form,
the unrepentant language of the eye.

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John Cullen
b. 1948: St. Louis, Missouri
B.A., Social Welfare
California State University
Los Angeles, CA, 1975
M.A., Studio Arts
California State University
Los Angeles, CA, 1980
M.A., Depth Psychology
Pacifica Graduate Institute
Carpinteria, CA, 1992
One Person Exhibits

"Inland Abstractions"
Claremont Community Foundation
Claremont, CA, 1999

"Spirit 'N' Matter"
Claremont Forum
Claremont, California, 1998

"Semi-Devotional Objects from the Resurrection Series"
Artworks Gallery
Claremont, California, 1996

Quaker Meeting House
Claremont, California, 1995

"Crosses and Other Forms of Opposition"
DA Gallery
Pomona, California, 1994

Orange County Center for Contemporary Art
Santa Ana, California, 1982

"Archetypes--Clay Sculpture"
CSULA Fine Arts Gallery
Los Angeles, California, 1980

"Assemblage Paintings"
Gallery 116
Los Angeles, California, 1978

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