www.agentofchaos.com presents guest artist John Kipfer
Introduction by John Kipfer
I am returning to my self, having spent a great deal of time and effort, giving others their rights of passage. Passing on the tools that destroy those things that inhabit the absent rooms within our minds.
Having taught others my trade for the past 7 years, it has been near impossible to spend time working on my own ideas, themes, products. I have been too dismissive of the paints' powers to engage.
For years, I have been searching the hotel within my head. Waiting for ideas to leave, and waiting for others to arrive. Only recently have I begun to record these vacationers in hopes of them taking the form of a painting, a drawing, a sculpture, a photograph.
Wanderings have a tendency to relate themselves to our surroundings, our circumstances, our habits. Images of landscapes and open sky dominate my recent reflections. A certain pensiveness has enveloped me after loosing my mother to suicide. Perhaps these are the places that she now dwells? Perhaps these are the places where my children will come to know as home? Perhaps they are my escape from the commercial work force? The recordings of slow, steady escape.
Upcoming Series On "Faith"
Lately, things seem to be taking a commercial form. I am interested in noting the various qualities that juxtapose commercial art, as it were, with that of fine art. The gaps and parallels have given way to a modern concept of aesthetics. It is as though art must make its commentary of today in the form of todays greatest, loudest, least understood form of communication... the commercial.
I revel in this modern struggle in two ways. First, from a rhetorical perspective, the idea of fine art becoming a commercial or sharing equal footing is interesting in terms of the discussion it evokes. Similar to Duchamp's Fountain, 1917, it is the discourse that can carry the work. Separate from the gallery, it has a conceptual existence all its own. Secondly, looking at objects or themes that are "natural", and transforming them into their iconic, commercial being, proposes an interesting contrast. Is it that we are selling nature, religion? If so, how would we sell it to our audience? The modern commercial is based on a desire to be the best we possibly can be.
Without the product, we are incomplete or we are somehow faulty and incomplete. We have come to replace our Faith with a "neo-faith" in modern culture; the culture of the commercial, the culture of the commercial essence of our true existence. Our cars, our skyscrapers, our ready in 5 minutes, have replaced our Trinity, our self-awareness of our context. We see God on the street corner wearing a placard selling wash machines. Jesus is a guy they made a movie about and Buddha is the short fat man made of jade collecting dust in your bedroom corner. What is our content? It is what the next commercial tells you it is.
Faith. How do we convince them it is something they need? If it is Faith, a new product for the local shelf, how can I sell it?
It is actually very simple - you make a commercial for it.
Notes on the Artist
I graduated from the University of Waterloo, St. Jerome's College, in 1997 with a B.A., focusing on Visual Arts - Studio Specialization and Philosophy. As I progressed through the arts program, I also continued to work full time in the photo industry for various studios. I continued my education at the University of Western Ontario and received my Bachelors of Education, having graduated top of my class in the subject of Secondary Visual Arts.
I returned to the K-W area to take a position with the Waterloo Catholic District School Board teaching Visual/Media Art and English. Now comfortable in my pedagogical surroundings, I have returned to painting and drawing.
Having wed recently, I feel my passions returning once again. My desire to create has surfaced, along with a renewed vision to deliver a solid curriculum to my students. I have taken to a historically proven method of teaching art, a master - apprentice relationship. I have found that my pupils understanding, appreciation, and technical skills have improved immensely. It has also enabled us to help one another with our work. I provide students with feedback in return for feedback on my work. My work is the learning tool for them. It provides access to critiques, without the anxiety of critiquing their own work, until they are fully mature to do so in front of an audience. It has also led to several co-creations with students and other artists in the area.
Please forward your comments to both e-mail addresses, as I am not prone to check either one exclusively.
john kipfer home page
Agent of Chaos