John Knuth (b. 1978 US)
Ease Help, 2018
From the series Homeless
Homeless sign, mirrored Mylar, staples and acrylic on board. Framed in UV protective plexiglass
56 x 40 cm.
Signed and dated by the artist on verso
Combining mirrored Mylar material with cardboard signs bought over the course of a decade from the homeless population of LA, John Knuth offers us a glance at the ever-changing and ever-contradictory landscape of Los Angeles today, as the artist envisions it. He sees the homeless signs as touching self-portraits of the people holding them. They are honest drawings with profound statements like ‘Anything helps’, ‘Please help’, ‘Hungry’, etc. Over the past several years homelessness in Los Angeles has exploded. This is, as the artist points out, ‘the new landscape of LA – not the palm trees’.
About the artist
John Knuth is born 1978 in US, currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. He received an MFA from University of Southern California and a BFA from the University of Minnesota.
John Knuth’s multifaceted work explores themes of transcendence through material manipulation. Through his alchemical process, he transforms seemingly mundane materials into extraordinary objects. His investigative process bridges the disciplines of aesthetics and chemistry to reveal new avenues of perception.
For Knuth, the most basic level of alchemy can be transcendent. Whether he is working with sugar, smoke or insects, the common and fleeting are repurposed and given new meaning. Much of his project is centered on the natural world and its potential in the process of art-making. He intends to create something that is beyond the normal, daily existence or identity of his chosen material or participant.