John HavertyWinner of the 2016 Luxembourg Art Prize
Winner of the 2016 Luxembourg Art Prize
John Haverty was born in 1986 in Boston, USA. He is American and lives in Massachusetts, USA. The artists who inspire him are Dieric Bouts, Hieronymus Bosch and Salvador Dali. He obtained a master’s degree in Fine Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia, in 2015 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 2010. He works for an airline.
He received a grant of €25,000 from Galerie Hervé Lancelin to produce an individual exhibition, which will be staged at the gallery in 2017.
Similar to shamanism, the painting of John Haverty bears within it a highly visible introspective force. “Each painting is a personal journey for me”. Attached to the retro albums of the 1960s-80s and to skateboard and hot-rod culture, the artist combines his interests with his travel, “but I prefer everyone to look at my art for themselves, develop their own opinion and bring their own imagery to my work.”
Whimsical, strange, magical, beautiful or ugly, it all depends. As John Haverty explains, “I get lost when I work. I’m like a curious child in a land of psychedelic wonders.” His pens can spend hours on details and lines that hypnotise him. Each line or dot is important to him, making his work a complex painting. But the idea guiding him is rarely complete: “Every day is different. The creative process is full of unknowns. As every day is different, every mood is different.” Later, contemplating the finished piece, he returns to the feelings and thoughts that passed through him during the journey. “I have photos that show the reality of my past. But my paintings show the feelings of my past.”
That’s how his monumental project Gangrene emerged, a giant painting begun in 2013. “My art, like the infection, is a collage that continues to grow organically. Gangrene presents an ambiguous visual feast that sheds light on problems vexing society…”
Gangrene is a visually violent work that grips the eye. Most of the paintings making up the fresco were created in the artist’s twenties, an unsettling period full of frustration for many people, and his paintings radiate many of his feelings. But John Haverty does not consider himself an angry person. The reasons for this violence lie elsewhere: “As a teenager, I watched a lot of horror films. The thrill of being terrified and a love of the classic monsters are mixed with my journeys, and influence me a lot. My beach house in Cape Cod is pretty sinister, and sometimes I feel as if I am in the presence of spirits. I think all that interests me in a way.”
With his monumental work, the painter produces immersive works that draw the viewer in both psychologically and physically. “I find it hard to explain my paintings in words. For me, the interest is visual. My goal is to grab the viewer’s attention for more than a few seconds.”
“Circus“, 2015, “Gangrene” series, ink and watercolour on paper, 120 x 120 cm, unique
Many visitors came to Galerie Hervé Lancelin on the opening evening of the 2016 Luxembourg Art Prize finalists’ exhibition!
During the 2016 Luxembourg Art Prize ceremony, Galerie Hervé Lancelin made a €10,000 donation to the National Museum of History and Art (MNHA) to help fund the acquisition of a major work for the museum’s collections. Michel Polfer, Director of the MNHA, emphasised the importance of the donation for the museum.