Born and raised in Philadelphia, artistic talent has always pumped through John’s veins. Frances Elaine Rockwell, John’s mother, was an extremely talented painter who transferred her gifts onto her son. Her family’s artistic heritage, in fact, traces back to famed American artist Norman Rockwell—mother and son have carried on the family tradition. Early in life, John’s teachers noticed his unique artistic talent. Although defying his family’s wishes by attending Tyler School of Art at Temple University, John quickly began to distinguish himself even among a talented class of privileged students. One professor noted that, while John was part of a gifted group of students, his work happened to be the art everyone noticed. Graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Graphic Design, John drew the attention of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s department stores who hired him as a visual merchandiser and display artist. Striking out on his own, John soon began to create original silk-screened t-shirts that his former employers chose to carry in their stores. As his reputation in the region continued to grow, John turned his attention and energy to painting full time.
Currently working out of a large backwoods warehouse in Philadelphia, John draws artistic inspiration from retro advertising, pop icons, B-movies, mid-century modernism, magazines, noir films, vintage signage and all things pop-culture. Forming a unique combination of silk-screening and hand painting, John creates paintings that are at once nostalgic and modern. Intense brush strokes explosions of color, aggressive textures, and juxtaposed images yield distinctive and recognizable canvasses. His subjects—sexy bombshell women, designer logos, sports heroes, Superheroes, stewardesses, Americana images—compete with and complement one another, yielding exceptional artistic compositions. Batman and Elvis, Audrey Hepburn and Lucky Strike, Mickey Mouse and Heineken all find themselves reborn in John’s paintings.
Praised by connoisseurs and philistines alike, John’s art has widespread appeal. His paintings draw a diverse crowd to galleries spanning from New York to California, and Sweden to Japan. John’s reinterpretations of classical icons resonate strongly in 21st Century America. In addition to promoting his art, John also remains deeply committed to philanthropy, using his paintings and proceeds to benefit charities and education around the world.