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John Paul Klinkose: Treading


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John Klinkose
Treading Water
Oil on canvas
24-1/2" x 24-1/2"

About the work
Blue; my world is variations of blue. I fell in love with sky and water at an early age. In my life I have been a pilot, sailor and swimmer. I paint against the background of these experiences. To float or fly is to be free or apart from the world, to be in defiance of gravity. My paintings are populated with airplanes and swimmers defying gravity. History, Science and Politics are important to my world view but, there is something more, something transcendent about sailing out of sight of land, flying solo in a small plane or night swimming under the stars. On the edge that can only be viewed when loose or free of the normal moorings. This is what I try to paint about. Paint as an exploration of the transcendent.

John Paul Klinkose began pondering history, aviation, space exploration, and the human condition at an early age. While experiencing the usual Hoosier childhood, he could just as easily arrive home after a hard day of bike-riding to find an impromptu polling place set up in the garage as he could find mac and cheese on the table.

His earliest dreams of astronauts and World War II aviators, led John to pursue a degree in aviation at Indiana State University. Facing the realities of the world, he switched to the more practical pursuit of Aviation Administration. Yet, quickly discovered after graduation that running an airport would not fulfill his adventurous soul and feed his artistic spirit. So, he did what any lifelong, land-locked kid would do, he ran away to join the United States Coast Guard and see the world - well at least the slice that ran up and down the East Coast and into the Caribbean. John ably served four years in ships making harrowing runs to Jamaica, living the sailor's life in Key West and finally navigating the treacherous waters stirred up by Hurricane Bob and the "Perfect Storm" off of Rhode Island.

While taking art classes in the suburbs of Maryland, a Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts recruiter spotted his raw talent at the Corcoran Museum of Fine Arts in Washington, DC and said, "Now son, those abstract schools that are trying to woo you are all well and good. But, when you want to paint a foot, you need to know how to paint a foot - not some swirly patch that could be a foot or a fishtail." Well, the recruiter was probably a bit more professional than that, but you get the point.

Upon receiving his Certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, John lived and worked from a garret in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia where he painted whimsical pictures of swimmers and aircraft which he showed in Philadelphia and New York's Chelsea district. Apart from painting John worked as a conservation technician at the prestigious firm of Kreilick Conservation LLC, working on famous sculptures and architecture all over the east coast and midwest including sculptures such as Andrew Jackson, the Statue of Freedom atop the U.S. Capital, in Washington D.C. as well as scraping the bird do off the giant Oldenburg' clothespin in Philadelphia among many others.

After 27 years on the east coast, John and his lovely partner Jennifer decided it was time to return to their roots in Indiana, moving to the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood of Indianapolis where John continues to paint his whimsical pictures of water and sky

Donated By the artist