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international painting annual 4 exhibition-in-print
online resource

John Michael Byrd
Sunderland, Massachusetts

detail image


My aim, as a painter, is to act as an archivist; merging the spheres of internal desire and external demands. I continually scavenge disorderly and absurd accumulations of agent images and re-present them through paintings. These hyperbolic gestures encompass our many state of being human that can be erotic, theatrical, mundane and/or irrational.

I select imagery for my drawings from an archive I have amassed that enables me to categorize my sources.  I then work to deconstruct the imagery in a manner that fosters new content.  I begin to draw, connecting threads, fragment to fragment.  And, through this collapsing of original context, I create new dialog and a more clarified reality for these intertwined portrayals.

Much of my source material is derived from pornography.  The erotic nature of which implies overt objectification.  But, I think it also hints at our innate need and capacity for catharsis. I use this dissolution of boundaries as a conceptual tool to remind my viewers that in order to restore humanity, we must first acknowledge and define objectification.

By working from pre-existing images, I find the resultant paintings suggest a more compounded, complex narrative without being shackled to the original framing of the subject. My mode of re-contextualization empowers the viewer to interpret them more symbolically and metaphorically.  This allows for greater clarity within deviations of initial context and more variety of visual representation of the painted figure.





born: 1983, Bogalusa, Louisiana



University of Massachusetts-Amherst, MFA, 2013

Louisiana State University, BFA, 2007


selected awards/honors

100 Under 100: The New Superstars of Southern Art, The Oxford American Magazine, 2012

J. Kenneth Edmiston Memorial Scholarship, Louisiana State University, 2006

Carl M. Thorp Memorial Art Scholarship, 2002


selected publications

Featured Emerging Artist. Fresh Paint Magazine. Oct 2013-Issue: 1. Page 10-11.

21st Century Queer Artists Identify Themselves, Nov. 2012-Issue: 5

Art Business News, Emerging Artist, September Issue, 2009

Feature in The J.O.S.H, premiere edition Sept,  New York, New York, 2008


selected solo or two-person exhibits

Firing The Canon, Herter Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts (Solo-Exhibition) 2013

Advanced Moon Goddesstry, Barnes Gallery, Leverett, Massachusetts (Two-Person Exhibition) 2013

Savage Beauty Grapevine Gallery Donaldsonville, Louisiana (Solo Exhibition) 2010


selected group shows

Under the Influence, Baton Rouge Gallery-center for contemporary art, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Invitational Group-Exhibition), 2013

Diametric Visions: Emerging Artists in Two Parts, Limner Gallery, Hudson, New York (Group-Exhibition) 2013

Surreal Salon V, national juried exhibition (Juror: N.C. Winters), Baton Rouge Gallery-Center for Contemporary Art, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 2013

Ninety-One to Ninety-Five, Gallery102, George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia, 2013



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