These assemblages are an ongoing studio project I began this year showing people who turn their backs on the noise of society, e.g. politics, social media, and cell phones, seeking solitude. They show people on beaches, alone as the individuals they are, even in a group. Our society is very group-oriented, and we are expected to conform to our groups. Through images and text, I show people, small as they are, who have carved out time and space for themselves.
Prof. Arlo Kent is the main piece with smaller assemblages exploring the world more deeply. I start with collage that I’ve painted and dissected, and adhere it to canvas with wheat paste. Photographic images printed on acetate are layered and attached over the collage. The mats on the smaller pieces—windows within windows—are voyeuristic, like peering through a viewfinder. I want the viewer to experience the same feeling, preserving the feeling of aloneness I feel for the subjects. A handmade frame of ash completes each assemblage.
Each piece shows the imprint of my hand. Blemishes are intentional, expected, welcomed, including uneven frames and exposed or stray pieces of collage jutting beyond the mat, especially now that we have AI. The pieces and the artist are guaranteed to be 100 percent human-made.
John Greiner-Ferris is an artist in the Boston area. Sometimes he makes images. Sometimes he writes. Sometimes he does both.