Art on Deck submission for Maketto
John Brendan Guinan is an American contemporary artist. He 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. Mother Teresa served the first bowl of soup at the kitchen's opening. John's father, prolific activist and author, John Edward Guinan "Ed" passed away in December of 2014. The Washington Post memorialized Ed by saying, “Throughout his life, [Guinan] earned a place on the Catholic left defined by the pacifism of Dorothy Day, the civil disobedience of Daniel and Philip Berrigan and the faith-driven calls of former Peace Corps director Sargent Shriver to replace peace through strength with strength through peace.”
John's solo exhibition, The Art of Mourning, which debuted in August of 2015 at the Artery Gallery in New York, was comprised of pieces grieving his father’s passing. Each piece was painted while his father was sick, in hospice or recently passed. In a recent article, John is quoted as saying, "My hands, brushes, paint, and pallet knives served as conduits for my emotions: joy, despair, gratitude, transformation, grace and other undefinable inklings of subconscious. Through great pain this art came out of me. It simply had to". The Art of Mourning was a major success and cemented John as a top emerging artist. His pieces are in high demand and have been purchased by collectors throughout the United States and abroad. The Academy Award winning Fine Films Company, creators of HBO’s “Life According To Sam”, “War Dance” and “Inocente,” are currently shooting a documentary on John Brendan Guinan and his art career.
John's unique life experiences with the poor, exposure to the tenants of social justice, and his own mental health struggles have had a deep impact on his artistic process. As an artist, John's intention is to reconcile his emotions through the most filterless form he knows - painting. Themes of love, faith, redemption, connection, transcendence, injustice, loss, despair, addiction, and depression permeate his body of work. John's goal is for people to look at his pieces in a hopeful fashion and be inspired - knowing that something beautiful can be created out of tension and what seems like chaos.