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December Artist | J. Spanos

December 4 - December 31

Opening Reception is Saturday, December 4, 2021
6 – 9 PM

Artist Statement

The Magical Land of CA
Cinema has played a major role in the shaping of my artistic style. When I was a child, I would sit in front of the television and watch ‘The Wizard of Oz’ on repeat. I was always drawn into the magic of transporting from the world of the mundane to the extraordinary. Being a California native, Hollywood has been a fundamental source of socialization and understanding of how I fit into the world and how the world can be visualized glamorously.

As a queer artist, I seize the opportunity to make the mundane into something fantastical, or better yet, celebrate the extraordinary in the everyday. This work is highly inspired by low riders and the cityscapes, in conjunction with old film and advertising imagery. This body of work is imagining California through a cinematic lens, with the use of appropriated imagery from magazine advertisements from 1940s-1970s. I see this as a celebration of the wonderful culture of California, the things we may see every day and the opulence.

By blending retro advertisement imagery with contemporary depictions of California my intent is to subvert the initial purpose of those images for something more critical. I want to begin a dialogue not only about the beauty of California but also the negative aspects of the influence of Hollywood and the media. By using the glamour that is synonymous with Hollywood, I am taking that power of influence from ‘them’, to use for my own intent.


About the Artist | J. Spanos

Spanos was born in 1990 in Upland, CA and has lived in the Inland Empire much of his life. He currently resides in Riverside County with his husband of 5 years. His academic background is in Sociology prior to studying art. He also holds a BA degree in Studio Art with a minor in Art History. Currently in the MFA program at California State University San Bernardino, class of 2024, he continues to explore new media and concepts. As a mixed media artist, he is working with painting, collage, and sculpture. Some themes that his work revolves around are gender, sexuality, identity, and popular culture.  He has had the benefit of previously exhibiting at The Wignall Museum in the Student Invitational 2019. 


J. Spanos, 2021
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December 4
December 31
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Claremont Forum | 1st St., Claremont Village
586 W. 1st St.
Claremont, CA 91711 United States
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