Jan 1 - Feb 28, 2021
John Azoni is a painter based in the Detroit, MI area. He received his BFA from the College for Creative Studies in 2007, and continues to make work that is mostly bright, fun, and has a certain crude messiness about it. When not painting, John works as a Producer for a filmmaking studio, is a photographer and videographer for corporate clients, and enjoys making memories with his wife and 2 daughters.
A collector once came by my house to view my inventory of paintings. As we looked together at pieces old and new, she asked me about the inspiration behind different works. I sensed she was looking for deep significance behind each painting and I struggled to come up with meaningful answers. I don't lead with topical concepts in my paintings, I lead with aesthetics. In an environment where so many people are reaching for a platform to speak their mind, I’m over here like, “I just wanted to create something visually beautiful."
The 'how' really matters to me. For instance, a compliment begrudgingly given has little meaning. The same words voiced in a gentle, tender tone, with sincere eye contact, changes the experience and makes all the difference. The 'how' of something is often more important than the 'what.' The ‘how’ shapes the recipient’s emotional experience, and when I create, that’s where my focus lies. The composition I use; my color stories, texture and lines and shapes are how I create my intended tone of playfulness and beauty.
I think one of my proudest moments as an artist was witnessing the reaction of that collector to a particular painting I showed her. Toward the end of our time together, we came to a piece I had recently finished. I unrolled the unstretched canvas, and as I looked over at her to gauge her response, I noticed she had begun to cry. “It’s just beautiful”, she said. The 'meaning' of the painting didn't elicit her tears. She was simply reacting to the beauty of the piece and the ‘how’ of its construction, and as someone who takes the ‘how’ seriously, that was a major win.