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John Hart steps into the light

Wednesday, 12th May, 2010

John Hart is making a name for himself with his photo realist paintings. John Hart is making a name for himself with his photo realist paintings.

A well-known local artist is profiled in the latest edition of one of Australia's leading art magazines.

John Hart's artwork is included in the May-July edition of Australian Art Review (aAR), a quarterly magazine and one of the foremost publications on art in the nation.
City Council's Regional Art Gallery manager, Bruce Tindale, said this had put John Hart's skills on display and showed that he was more than the son of a famous father.
"His dad was predominantly self-taught but John went off and studied at the Central Art School in Adelaide and undertook a more contemporary, rigorous training," Mr Tindale said.
"It's basically helping John to carve out his own identity within the Australian art world, and being published in a magazine of this quality helps draw him to the attention of institutions and collectors.
"Being published is very good for propelling a national artist and getting some national acclaim."
Mr Tindale said the profile piece on John Hart, titled 'Novel twists and turns,' was written by visual art and art history writer Prue Gibson.
"She is a leading critic and curator and John has been singled out by someone who knows a lot about Australian art," he said.
"You need to be on your way somewhere - they don't just publish anyone. These articles are critical."
The profile displays John's photo realism work. It displays artworks from 'Through a glass darkly,' which was exhibited at the local gallery last year, and from his 'Analogue' series which featured pieces of crumpled paper.
John Hart described his work as a collision of classical painting, photography and digital imaging.
He has been working in this field since the mid 1990s but the advent of modern technology has propelled his work into what it is today.
"Not at this level ... but going back to the start of 1996 on and off and introducing this digital photography really helped."
John Hart is sculptor, photographer and painter. When beginning a work he does not have an end in mind and invents his model, in this case using a standard double white sheet, which can take minutes or days.
He then photographs it using a digital camera and manipulates it using computer programs before painting it on canvas using oil paints.
From start to finish it's a time consuming job.
"My maximum output is 15 paintings per year."
The work looks extraordinarily like a photograph and leads to the question, why?
"It's pushing the boundaries and making people think of things differently," he said.
While the art may look black and white John claims to have never used black paint, instead using a build up of dark tertiary colours and whites.
He said the inclusion in the magazine was a pat on the back.
"I was thrilled. It's great to get the recognition," he said.
"And it has been absolutely no hindrance living in Broken Hill."
Mr Tindale said the profile also helped put the city's changing art community on the map.
"John's chosen to live here now and the fact that he lives here draws the attention to Broken Hill being a lively arts community," he said.
"I think it just puts that little bit of awareness out there and it all helps."

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