John Blatter

Change 1 (changing room)

John Blatter
John Blatter is a sculptor, sound and media artist trained at Ohio State University with a BFA in sculpture and later at VCU he received a MFA in sculpture. He originally thought he would study architecture but found it to be limiting, and he was lead to sculpture instead. His works are in collections including MoMA Library, Columbus Museum of Art. He has extensive listings of solo and group shows and exhibitions.
Early works include “Painted Nude” in which the artist paints lines on the human body to create patterns http://www.johnblatter.com/nude.html. He also created wood sculptures from bent wood and other materials http://www.johnblatter.com/constricted.html.
His early media work often focuses on himself, including a project entitled “Self-Portraits” in which he made clips of interviews with twelve people closest to him. He interviews them asking a variety of insightful questions, including what he does that bothers them!
Then, in “In Opening Night” the artist’s installation has the viewer enter a room containing 120 video images of the artist having a conversation with himself about what he is expecting on the stage production he is waiting for. The images are repetitive and unexpected.
His other works include short video clips making cultural statements—one is commercials with the sounds of baby sucking to emphasize commercialization and addiction to things commercial. Another installation work is his bedroom reproduced with rear projection screens, a door cut for viewing, and still images in the interior. Sounds of his breathing as he sleeps go throughout the room http://www.johnblatter.com/bedroom.html.
Recent work seems to focus on sound installations and many are featuring the artist himself, with others including other people. One untitled installation uses a massive wall of speakers and a large video screen so that story tellers’ moment of emotion or intense experience is “displayed.”
“Bored of One” installation uses six speakers around a room, facing a missing chair at a conference table while the audio is the artist talking about his future and the corporate setting, product branding, and marketing. . http://www.johnblatter.com/bored.html
“Changing Rooms” has the artist changing his persona and clothing in changing rooms. http://www.johnblatter.com/changing.html
I have to admit that I see a trend here, in early and current work—much of the artist work focuses on images and/or sounds of himself. There is of course, easy access and availability. He uses his image and voice to make points about culture, expectations, and the art world. I could not find video clips, so reviewed the artist’s website that contains stills. This of course doesn’t give the full impact of the work, leaving the sound to one’s imagination. I’ll keep searching!

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