Monday, July 16, 2012

Layered Realities: John Gall

When he is not busy working as the Vice President and Art Director at Vintage Anchor Books Publishing, John Gall concentrates on creating his very own, impeccable collage art. This man, is responsible for most of the avant-garde book cover designs of our time. Many of us may have came across his work while perusing through the bookstore, glimpsing on each book cover, title and back summary that might interest you. From art directing and designing book covers for the likes of prominent authors Vladimir Nobokov, James Gleick, and Kobo Abe, John Gall also extended his design skills to other authors such as Haruki Murakami, Don DeLillo and Jonathan Lethem.

Naturally, it is his talent for collage art and graphic design that infused him to create such amazing line of work. Several of which has been exposed through the world of book publishing. However, some projects are specifically geared more for exhibitions and therefore, it is time for us to look into his collage work in greater detail. I recently saw his work in an exhibition at Brooklyn Fire Proof alongside works of other great artists to his left and right, including James Gallagher.

Coinciding with his book cover designs, his personal projects are perfectly suitable for fictional ideas and explorations. Similar to other collage artists, the found images are a combination of new and old clippings, as well as past and present book or periodical covers. However, John Gall, on a certain level of expertise, understand the relationship that images create and the hidden language, the silent poetry, that it provokes when placed next to each other. Beneath all its layers, John Gall masks many intricate stories, ones of which may be artfully composed with a thorough understanding in semiotics, a tasteful influence from great literature and rich background in visual history.

Collage seems to be an appropriate medium for expression for John Gall's utterly descriptive and surreal composition. He brings all the elements together in a way that most artists expect to produce, be it a pleasing or unpleasing unity.

Artist: John Gall

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