The work disaplayed here at the Hat Tavern follows John’s passion for New York, Horses, and auto racing. The Chrysler Building, Grand Central Terminal, and Federal Hall are all recognizable icons of the city. Few images are more American than the horse. Here John captures the regal dressage stance and the charging stallion. These two exhibit the effect of the marble background. Silver Cloud and the earlier Horse Eye are portraits. From horses to horsepower, from hard edge to soft focus, Maggiotto’s look at the world of auto racing, as it appears on his television screen, brings an idealized beauty to man’s mastery of speed over distance. The archival prints are mounted on wood panel with a beeswax coating. Green Racer and others take us back to the days of ABC’s Wide World of Sport.
John Maggiotto is an artist living in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. His first apprenticeship in fine arts took place at Hallwalls from 1977 to 1979, eventually rising to the post of director. Mr. Maggiotto was selected to serve at the National Endowment for the Arts in the Visual Arts department. He continued to exhibit at commercial galleries during this period.
In 1984 Maggiotto move to Los Angeles were he exhibited his SX-70 Polaroid works at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, LA Institute of Contemporary Art and the LA County Museum of Art. The work explored the television world of idealized roles through appropriated gestures and glances all depicted in the painterly palette of the SX-70 film format. He moved to a studio in Brooklyn and after a short time working with large color prints began to work on large casts of flat plaster using a hand applied silver emulsion. The imagery still originated with his appropriated television pictures. The plaster plates freed him from the small format of the earlier format. The work was well received critically in a number of group shows through the 80’s. In 1990 Laurence Miller invited him to exhibit at his gallery to a favorable review in the NY Times. From plaster followed his explorations on marble, many are represented here in their print form.
Included in John’s gallery are the four works: Rain (Surtees), Green Racer, Blue Racer and To the Pits. They are part of his Racing Series, a body of photographs appropriating the idealized thrill of automobile racing as represented through film and television. A voyeur in this world since John’s youth, he has been fascinated by man’s technological mastery over distance. Television has made the experience of the race whole, in a way no viewer at the track can have. These photographs, complete with the artist’s brushwork in wax, take the camera’s view, freeze it, crop it to its essence and then commoditize it in an object that is a sign for art.