The art of John Wentz provides catharsis at 111 Minna Gallery

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

The Moment of Death

After witnessing a brutal act of violence near his San Francisco home, John Wentz coped with the trauma for months, regularly visiting a therapist and painting non-stop to heal the pain. This cathartic process resulted in a new body of work that Wentz debuted in a solo show titled “Synthesis” this past Friday at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco. An exploration of the formation of the psyche starting from childhood, the drawings and paintings show a mysterious protagonist in a gas mask wandering a desolate world populated by crows. Realistically rendered figures are smudged and backgrounds are obliterated, creating the sensation of walking through a void. An avid comic book fan, Wentz explained that the formation of a superhero’s alter ego echoes in the undertones of the works. The gas mask functions as a way of changing the character’s identity in the same way a spandex costume does in graphic novels; the crows often exude blank speech bubbles as if they are at a loss for words. The unassuming lead character in this bleak atmosphere serves as a reminder that we are all the protagonists in our own hero’s journey. Take a look at some photos from the opening night. – Nastia Voynovskaya


John Wentz


Flight and Murder of Crows 2




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