John Pils

John Pils

He / Him
Portland, United States


John Pils grew up in Chicago and has been drawing and painting since he was a child. He went to school at Columbia College of Chicago for painting and photography. After finishing school with honors he then moved to New York City for more opportunities and culture. When in New York he worked at many galleries and auction houses including Hollis Taggart Galleries, Swann Auction House and most notably Christies Auction House. When at these places he provided photography support and management as well as retouching and color correcting photos to better match the original artwork. His work now informed by being able to see the masters paintings up close and in a personal manner. After years of this he moved on to purely retouching at several boutique studios. While there he was able to work with several famous photographers, most notably Annie Leibovitz.

While working in the photography industry John continued to follow his passion, painting and drawing. When he eventually left New York, he ended up on the west coast in Portland, OR.
Eventually disenchanted with working in the corporate world, he made the decision to follow his dreams of painting. With a body of work spanning 20 years, John is now ready to exhibit and put his work on display for the world to see.

Artist Statement

Drawing and painting have long been my escape from the outside world, while also trying to make reconciliation with it. It is this internal contemplation that almost all of my work stems from.
Since my work is based in a need to express my internal reactions to the outside world, the work takes on a mix of complete abstraction to semi-figurative representational work. My influences are drawn from ancient cultures, Anthropology, Hieroglyphics, and Mythology. I try to bring a primal, often meditative quality to my pieces.
Having also spent almost all of my life in New York City and Chicago, I am strongly influenced by the directness and spontaneity of urban street art and graffiti. It is between these two disparate worlds of the sublime and the autonomous that I often find myself when creating.
I work in many mediums, often in combination together. Collage, photography, screen printing, metal work, acrylics, encaustic and oil all have found their way into my work. Each medium presents different obstacles that open dialogue between myself, the work and the viewer.

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