Galatea is now permanently installed in the Duncan Sculpture garden. Stop by if you are passing through!
John’s show at Luise Ross Gallery, New York
September 13 – November 3, 2012
Galatea, the truck sculpture in this video, has been moving around to different locations in Chelsea. This video was made after it was stationed outside a retirement home. It’s a montage of people’s reactions and interactions with the sculpture, including poems.
We’ve been hard at work cutting out the pieces of the new truck and printing. I’ve tweeted a few progress updates with photos (@Johnhimmelfarb), but I’ll post some up here soon as well.
Artist Interview: John Himmelfarb
From Judy Chang
“Walking into John Himmelfarb’s studio in Chicago is like walking into a candy store, a visual onslaught of colors and excitement, followed by a rush of desire to have everything at once. The subject of an upcoming documentary, his work is included in more than 40 museum collections. Normally you can tell the style of the artist by looking at a few of their paintings. But, the visual vocabularies Himmelfarb employs are so diverse, that it could have been the work of several artists, frenzied cousins even. I caught up with him at his studio to find out more about what drives him and his work.”
Read the article on Huffington Post here
Opening this Saturday, the 17th of September, from 5pm to 8pm at River Gallery Fine Art in Chelsea, MI.
Special Highlight: Galatea, a sculpture based on the REO Speedwagon, will be on site!
River Gallery is located at 120 S. Main, Chelsea, Michigan
Visitors to the Cultural Center can pick up a copy of this handout, written by Joanna Goebel, to accompany the exhibit ‘Driven’:
Chicago artist John Himmelfarb is known for his unique vocabulary of abstract
forms which, depending on scale and composition, may range from pure
abstraction to evocations of gesture, form, landscape, architecture, and even
the characters of an idiosyncratic written language. In this exhibit, Himmelfarb
delves into our fascination with this iconic vehicle in a variety of styles — some
cartoonish, some expressionist, and some referring to the artist’s more typical
Since 2003, images of trucks have become increasingly important in
Himmelfarb’s work. As small elements in his earlier work, they can be found
as far back as the late 1960s, but in the past eight years, they have taken
a central role. However, as images and sculptures, according to the artist,
these works “are not about trucks but about us, our histories, skills and coping
mechanisms, ambitions, and character.”
Trucks of any sort evoke work-ethic and self-sufficiency and, despite their
ubiquity in our everyday lives, are objects of fascination. Children and adults
alike are spellbound when watching powerful work trucks going about their
burly tasks. Synonymous with Americana, antique pickup trucks are objects of
nostalgia, symbolic of a simpler era, perhaps especially for those of us who were
not yet born at the time in which they were built. They are part of our collective
experience and imagination from an early age; as children, we play with them
in miniature, assemble them from kits, and use them to enact grown-up tasks.
As adults, we use them in our work and our recreation, and possibly even to
recapture a little childhood joy.
Maybe these vehicles of self-determinism are intriguing to us because their
numerous varieties and forms are indicative of different abilities, purposes and
functions. In this sense, they are ideal objects to communicate the facets of
human experience. In Himmelfarb’s hands, they become portraits and, in the
same way that collections of physical features on a human face can be beautiful,
and accretions of character lines and wrinkles are clues to personality and life
experience, these custom-built and retro-fitted trucks – with their fanciful cargos
and inventive paraphernalia, are entrees to compelling narratives of the human
Dialogue Chicago is a “unique interdisciplinary critique/seminar for working artists seeking aggressive studio practice.” Caroline Anderson reviewed my show at the Cultural Center on Dialogue’s blog, here.