John Newman


My work has been called poetic, erotic, honest, disturbing, sensitive, obsessive and beautiful. I view each of these adjectives as positive. I think that the best way to describe my work is visual poetry. Just as a poet places words together to create a work that is more than the literal meaning, I try to create a visual poem that is more than the sum of its parts. My years of drawing from the model and nature allow me the freedom to do this in a spontaneous and, hopefully, a sensitive manner.

The one aspect of my work which sometimes invites critical commentary is the prominent role the adolescent female plays in my fantasy compositions this always surprises me. Society at large is constantly confronted in theatre, film and literature by the fact that once a female reaches puberty, nature begins to bestow sexual characteristics. This mysterious metamorphosis, which takes place in the female, is one of nature's miracles. It is the critical link in the life cycle.

To discuss this transition to maturity and motherhood without recognizing the erotic aspect of the adolescent would be like discussing religion without mentioning God. Although I do understand the need to protect the female and male at this tender and vulnerable age, I believe that we as a society can do that best by confronting reality.
With my two themes, Rites of Passage and Aspects of Motherhood, I have tried over the last thirty years to depict, what for me is, the essence of life. I have delved deep into my subconscious in an attempt to express, in visual terms, something unique which could not be said in any other way. Only you, the viewer, and time can measure my success.