John Wentz



The Morning Breathes, The Evening Dies
, mixed media on wood panel, 24″ x 36″, 2017


Don’t Need That Ending Till It’s Time
, mixed media on canvas, 22″ x 30″, 2017


The Less I Change the More You’ll Have To
, mixed media on canvas, 30″ x 40″, 2017


It’s More Just Luck That Makes You Choose a Side
, mixed media on canvas, 33.5″ x 25″, 2017


Time and Pills, Let’s Waste a Year
, mixed media on canvas, 60″ x 60″, 2017


Unsure These Passing Days Won’t Try To Leave
, mixed media on canvas, 36″ x 36″, 2017


So Far I’d Say Tonight Just Takes Too Long
, mixed media on canvas, 43″ x 32″, 2017


Fine Days Is Coming
, mixed media on canvas, 27″ x 17.5″, 2017

Artist Statement

My work is an exploration of portraiture through process and technique. Working within the classical idiom of the human figure, I have as my goals reducing and simplifying the image to its core fundamentals: composition, color, and mark-making. My aim is to balance loose and defined detail to create a human likeness of gestural abstraction onto which viewers can project their own perspectives and emotions.

My most recent body of work, Navigation Unknown [see selection of images above], responds directly to the physical textures of New York City. Offering my dynamic observations of passersby by focusing on individuals’ encounters with one another in transit and in transient spaces, the series pairs narrative scenes with stripped-down portraits to reflect how people are in constant flux, vulnerable but neither fully here nor there. I explore my interest between those two points using collaged advertisements, spray paint, and other media that physically unify the paintings and their references. 

By applying paint and using brush strokes broadly, I seek to connect and convey my ideas as only painting can.

About the Artist

Born and raised in California’s San Francisco Bay Area, John Wentz first showed an interest in art at age 6, when he discovered Batman and Spiderman comic books. Following years of copying comics panel by panel, he worked in the commercial arts as a muralist, billboard creator, and freelance illustrator. Having learned how to paint air-brushed billboards, he decided to undertake a career in fine arts and to work in oils.

John Wentz has had a number of solo exhibitions in San Francisco, most recently at Hashimoto Contemporary. He also has been featured in numerous national and international group exhibitions, not only in San Francisco, Oakland, and Culver City, California; but also in Denver, Colorado; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Dallas, Texas; and New York City. His works have appeared in many publications, as well, including  American Art Collector magazine, International Artist magazine, Spain’s Clone magazine; and France’s La Gazette Cournot. They have won the artist multiple awards. 

John Wentz holds a bachelor’s of fine arts degree in painting, with distinction, from San Francisco’s Academy of Art University, where, for a number of years, he was an instructor in fine arts (drawing, painting, anatomy, composition, and color theory).

John Wentz Website

John Wentz on Facebook

John Wentz on Twitter

John Wentz on Instagram

John Wentz on Tumblr

John Wentz Blog

Hashimoto Contempory

Arcadia Contemporary

Abend Gallery