Bloody Mary

John reynolds 1200x900 q90

John Reynolds, Bloody Mary, 2006, courtesy of Artspace Aotearoa.

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John Reynolds
Bloody Mary


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John Reynolds is a painter who also practices in sculpture, installation and site-specific outdoor works. Reynolds has worked in a variety of fields, collaborating with professionals in architecture, fashion, music, publishing and television.

Reynolds’ practice can be described as a speculative search for an absolute truth, with any aspect of certainty being questionable. Responding to the influx and oversaturation of information in the global 21st century, Reynolds searched through the values and beliefs of multiple cultures and historical periods. His source material ranges from road signs to nets, the titles of 19th century photographs and poetry.

Reynolds explores different types of representation, utilising elements of drawing, sketching, planning and charting to frame expressions, marks, symbols, patterns and writing. He separates realms of inquiry, placing them in counterpoint for dramatic and poetic effect.

Reynolds’ paintings are small canvases of oilstick and acrylic, fields of twisted drawings. His most notable installation, Clouds, in 2006 brought together over 7000 canvases with words taken from the Dictionary of New Zealand English. Reynolds uses the abundance of colloquial phrases to explore how national identity is shaped by sometimes absurd beliefs, thoughts and values.

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