Heroes and Hookups Feature in Pop Paintings by John Joseph Hanright
The sexy, comic art of Boston-based painter
Reminiscent of artists such as describes his work as, “a combination of conceptual art, American Art, pop culture and derived from life in the ’50s to present day.” He often employs action and seduction, as in Get Real Action (2014) and The Action Packed Pickups (2013). Each canvas features a kissing couple, along with swirls of appropriated fragments of text and
Another painting of a couple, What is Often Kept Secret (2015) shows an extreme close-up of a couple’s lips, speaking and on the precipice of kissing. Speech bubbles coming out of their mouths are empty, save for
Hanright partially credits the use of words in his paintings to the time he spent living in Thailand, when he began to reconsider the conceptual significance of text. Although all of his work includes textual elements, in some pieces it is especially vivid. OK Corral (2011) shows, from the waist down, the spread stance of a western gunslinger, familiar from TV and from paintings by artists such as
To the left is a fragment, reading, “NO ‘TALK’... ALL ACTION,” which might be interpreted as an ironic commentary on the relationship between painting and text, and the tension between them. Another painting, Pink is for Girls (2015), shows a young woman in a similar stance, also contradicted by the oppositional texts “BOYHOOD” and the sexually suggestive “WET & WILD.” Hanright’s work relies on such complications, and his richly packed pictures leave the viewer with much to consider.