In 1986 John Capitano developed a system of chance for selecting colours using darts. While aiming for a dartboard bull’s eye he throws a dart until a numbered wedge is struck. He then paints with its predetermined hue; Carried out in a playful spirit, this arbitrary system results in unique color combinations. To resolve a painting the game-playing shifts to problem-solving, still maintaining this chance process.
John continues to work within this process because his artistic concerns still revolve around elements of play and discovery. However, while concerned with visual dynamics – the play of color, visual effects and the visceral nature of paint, its various applications and interactions – he is intrigued by the tension between these strictly painterly concerns and representational imagery.
John’s subject matter often reflects the same sense of humor as the process; he paints everything from the kitchen sink, piles of stacked dishes to the disarray of the bathroom. In other works John is painting from his surroundings, mostly urban settings, travel, or just a view out the window. More recently Graffiti has played a role as subject matter to further compliment the painting process. Throughout the various subjects there remains a tension intrinsic to the process – the tension between chaos and order, struggle and play, indeterminacy and self-expression.
Born and raised in London Ontario, John studied fine art at the University of Western Ontario with Patterson Ewen as his painting instructor followed by a master’s degree from the University of Calgary in 1991. After travels through Europe, India, southeast Asia and across Canada, John has made Vancouver home since 1994.