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John Charbonneau Wall Art

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John Charbonneau is an artist living in the cultural melting pot of Santa Fe. He’s inspired by art in a variety of forms and mediums. However his passion for photography has naturally drawn him to gain inspiration from the medium’s masters, including Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Stieglitz and Steichen. He discovered photography in the late 1960s, and upon discovering the photographs of Minor White, he began experimenting with symbolical abstractions in his work, leading him to his current style. White White’s work was guided by intellectual and spiritual interpretations of photography. Charbonneau’s idea of development also comes from his travels, family life, and his love of reading. Charbonneau says there’s no separate part of his life which is distinct from his life as an artist. He has learnt to take notes whenever he finds or has ideas that are interesting and possibly useful for his art.

His discovery of photography came with an engagement with the world that is best expressed through a photographic lens. His comical and often philosophical subject matter combines animal heads, mostly dogs and birds, and other familiar creatures, with human bodies. These ‘birdmen’, according to him, can be interpreted as a new kind of human, one with the spiritual freedoms and abilities people envy in our feathered friends. These creatures are placed in otherworldly settings that reflect absurdity or irony, creating confusion around subjects such as science, politics, and religion. The artist adds a bit of humor to dispel any offense around these topics that are often touchy. This results in an opening to consider new possibilities, and to manipulate and re-imagine iconic imagery.
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