John Brendan Guinan's practice spans from mixed media and collage paintings, to found object sculptures to performance - examining tensions between irony and sincerity, as well as outsider art and academicized formalism. His work engages with issues related to his own autobiography, masculinity, race, culture coding, and mythologization. Dissonant and colorful collages loosely reference contemporaries and cultural appropriation, while a large scale series of work titled "hero paintings" allude to giants in the western canon of art history. The artist's performance practice abandons ironic pretense and deals with conflict transformation between communities in stasis.
Guinan was born at home in the Logan Circle neighborhood of inner city Washington, D.C. above the homeless shelter and soup kitchen founded and run by his parents. His father, a former Catholic Priest and well known activist and author, J. Edward Guinan (dec. 2015), was a stalwart in the social justice movement and founder of Community for Creative Non-violence. The untrained artist's first show was a solo in New York at Artery Gallery in honor of his father, titled "The Art of Mourning". The artist has exhibited in solos and group shows in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Miami at Art Basel. His work has been auctioned off at Sotheby's in NYC, alongside pieces by Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha, Yoko Ono, Mark Grotjahn, and Urs Fischer among others. Academy Award Winning Fine Films Company produced a documentary on his story and art career called ‘Why I Paint’.
American, b. 1981, Washington, D.C.