John Stango is America’s artist, born and raised in working-class Philadelphia in 1958. Today, John stands as the Frontier of Modern American Pop Art, best known for his distinctive imagery and multifaceted mosh up style paintings. Using methods of both silk-screen done by hand in studio, and freehand painting, we are drawn to his use of bright colors, and animated characters leaving us in a dizzying yet profound world of his own.
John carries the pop art movement into the 21st Century with his powerful play on iconic trends and household names. He builds this upon 1950’s tradition, infusing it with a new, vibrant, colorful, and masculine approach. Musicians, art collectors, politicians, actors, and professional athletes alike prize his work and can be found in stadiums, corporate offices, and galleries across the country.
Frances Elaine Rockwell, John’s mother, was an extremely talented painter with her family’s heritage tracing back to famed American artist Norman Rockwell. Early in life, John’s teachers noticed his unique artistic talent and although he defied his family’s wishes by attending Tyler School of Art at Temple University, John quickly began to hone his gift and stood out among his class. One professor noted that he was one artist everyone noticed.
Graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Graphic Design, John drew the attention of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s department stores who hired him as a visual merchandiser and display artist. John soon began to create original silk-screened t-shirts that his former employers chose to carry in their stores and as his reputation in the region continued to grow, he turned his attention and energy to painting full time. For the past 30 years John has been working actively out of a large backwoods warehouse in Philadelphia.
Today, John draws artistic inspiration from retro advertising, pop icons, B-movies, mid-century modernism, magazines, noir films, vintage signage and all things pop-culture. Forming a unique combination of both silk-screening and hand painting, John creates pieces that are all at once nostalgic and modern. He is defined by intense brush strokes, painting with his body using explosions of color, aggressive textures, jarring contrasts and intense highlights. His subjects usually consist of iconic bombshell women, designer logos, sports heroes, stewardesses, Americana images, all while competing with and complementing one another, yielding exceptional compositions we are instantly drawn to. Batman, Elvis, Audrey Hepburn, Lucky Strike, Mickey Mouse, and Heineken all find themselves reborn in John’s paintings time and time again, all while using an element of surprise.