John Kissick: The Boom Bits covers the years 2009 to 2015 in the abstract painter’s critically acclaimed practice. It includes major works from the well-known Groovefucker series, large canvases from the Dissonant Groove exhibition of 2012, and his most recent excursions into glitter in the series Sugar Won’t Work in 2013–14.
John Kissick is a painter and writer who has held numerous academic posts; most recently, director of the School of Fine Art and Music at University of Guelph. He is co-founder of the Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators.
It’s something that has happened to every creative artist during the course of their career. Upon setting to work on a new painting, song, sculpture, multimedia project, or piece of writing, for one reason or another, inspiration simply does not strike. The confidence to make another mark, compose another note, or type another sentence seems to evaporate.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic began, the world has changed and with it almost every profession has been impacted. Like others, artists have been forced to adapt to the new reality, a reality that does not include art shows or exhibitions, courses, or workshops.
Using a combination of painting and printing to re-make existing prints, John Kissick’s new body of work manipulates found objects. Too near the bone marks a major transition in the artist’s career. His last exhibition, Burning of the Houses of Cool Man, Yeah (2016) reached the limits of skepticism, but this new series approaches painting with great earnestness.
Doubting oneself is human nature, especially as an artist. It’s completely normal to wonder whether your art is good enough or your skills or strong enough. The problem is when this negative self-talk impacts your confidence. Artistic confidence often takes years to foster. Many artists are extremely fragile when it comes to criticism, whether it comes from themselves or others. That is why building one’s artistic confidence is something that must be worked at.