American artist Michael St. John, who began his career as an abstract painter in the 1980s before moving on to found-object installations in the decade that followed, uses art as a way to comment on contemporary culture. His most recent works focus on the democratization of images by combining propaganda shots of smiling presidents with Google-searched girlie photos and the types of everyday imagery that we often overlook (bathroom graffiti, stickers on notebooks, lost dog signs). His canvases combine photocopies and found images with painted material in the trompe l'oeil style of 19th-century painter John Peto; his works simultaneously evoke Robert Rauschenberg's combines, teenaged bulletin boards, and the artists’ studio itself. “Like watching the news,” St. John has said of his information-saturated works, “you are left to wonder what’s real and what’s not.”
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