San Francisco-based artist John Vochatzer channels Hieronymus Bosch in his dynamic and complex collages that utilize both religious iconography and natural imagery to shock and inspire. Vochatzer initially delved into surrealism as a teenaged oil painter “fruitlessly trying to emulate Salvador Dali”- since then, he has only further pursued “bizarre and fantastical” aesthetics, which converge powerfully in his works.
Many of Vochatzer’s collages focus on women as central figures, which he considers to be a pathway to the complexity of both humanity and art itself: “I had the intention of creating something that both celebrates its diversity of beautiful women but also explores the darker and more morbid aspects of the dynamic over there, all translated through my imagination in my typical Bosch-inspired collage style.” Perhaps the most striking feature of Vochatzer’s art is the use of eyes—many of the central figures have a spider-like infinity of eyes on their faces, suggesting a depth of vision. Butterflies, bats, dinosaurs, and beasts converge in his pieces that confront the endless and often overwhelming variety of life in its visual iterations.
Vochatzer visually renders the globalized world, taking iconography from Hindu, Christian, and pagan religions and turning them into a complex commentary on the ever-evolving nature of the 21st century: “[A] big objective in my work recently has dealt with creating cultural and religious mash-ups… with the dual expression of the cross-cultural society I live in and the idea of stealing aspects of different traditions in order to create new ones that are more functional to individual needs and desires.”