A Place for Pride by John Guthrie
Boston-based artist John Guthrie, whose art embodies the openness and freedom of expression has a mural on Sea Green in Boston Seaport. As part of our collaboration, John created a series of new works that celebrate the many facets of Pride and its place in our lives in his signature style, which he defines as queer abstraction. In addition to his work as an abstract painter, John is the founder and director of Very, a contemporary art gallery in Boston.
We had the chance to ask John a few questions about his art, his inspiration and what Pride means to him.
How has art helped you to understand and celebrate who you are?
I was born to be a painter. I was put on this earth to make art. Every day I feel compelled to act on this gift. Making art doesn’t make me understand myself but rather express something that is within me.
What role do you believe art plays (or should play) at a community level?
Art should be endemic to the communities where we live. For me, the purpose of art is to allow people, both individually and in group settings, to express emotions, commemorate history, expose injustices, overcome obstacles, and gain an understanding of the world around them.
What do you hope people feel when they see your work?
I want people to have a sense of wonder or awe. Every viewer is unique. As an artist who makes abstract work, I realize that everyone has their own reactions to what they see. I try not to be didactic and leave open a range of possibilities.
From what sources do you draw the most inspiration?
For the last ten years, non-Western art has been my biggest source of inspiration, including prehistoric art, all varieties and periods of Native American Art, and ancient Egyptian art, to name a few.
What does Pride mean to you?
Pride is being my true self and expressing myself fully as an artist and a human being.