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john christopher borrero

Artist's Interview

How long have you been creating?
I created my first piece in December of 2002.
What is your medium of choice?
I use artifacts and forgotten items: rusty metal, driftwood, barn wood, objects carried to land by the ocean, old photographs, antique doll parts... my only rule is that they need be done with their original purpose: no live wood or new items, or pictures of people who are alive.
What are your motivations for creating?
To tell stories. I create characters who tell stories. At the same time, I try to give these artifacts a sense of purpose as well as a renewed sense of history, of belonging, and hopefully, beauty. Aesthetically, I enjoy the beings that are created in the process... (which is good because I have to live with them) but it all becomes meaningful when I deliver a story that I'm moved to tell.
What other artists and movements inform your work?
I've no training in art or art history. Primarily, my pieces are informed by my love for mythology, archeology, anthropology and theology. I have a deep interest in ancient peoples, and in particular their view of the divine. Visually, I'm drawn to the work of Tim Burton and Edward Gorey, and I owe much of my story-telling inspiration to revisionist authors such as Barbara Walker.
What do you find stimulating right now? How does this influence your creative process?
Texture. Starkness. Simplicity. Darkness.
Read anything good lately?
Skills For Preschool Teachers by Janice Beaty. It was a re-read, to refresh my knowledge... I'm a teacher by trade. For pleasure, the last book I read was When The Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka. Through words, it achieves all of the above elements that stimulate me visually. I couldn't put it down, or let her story out of my mind afterward.
Tell us a little about your process of working with found and salvaged objects in your art.
I read until I feel for a story, which happens when an image forms for me. I move myself into my studio space. I paint a piece of wood. Then, I bring items together until they take shape. If it feels right, I attach them to the board and move to a different story. In the process, I try to love myself and my work for what they both are: human and flawed.
What would you like your fellow EBSQ artists and collectors to know about you and or your work?
My perspective. If I am able to move someone or reach someone through this work, I'm grateful. That's why I create.

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