John Park Bridges the Gap Between Classical Composition and Urban Aesthetics for Up-Coming Live Painting Performance at King King

Pre-sale tickets for our show this week are available online. Get yours here before they sell out.

Los Angeles based artist and teacher, John Park, first captured our eyes and imagination at Lucent L’amour in 2008 and his subsequent live painting at events like Lightning in a Bottle (LIB) and most recently our special Halloween show with Pumpkin and LowRIDERz. His beautiful fusion of classic and modern styles has become a big hit with audiences and now Park prepares to paint alongside Ashley Bowers at King King for our next show featuring the music of Robot Koch, R/D and Deru.

“The absolute most fun that I’ve ever had has been live painting for The Do LaB,” said Park during our recent conversation. “Specifically, the last two LIB festivals, but Josh and Jesse Flemming (two of The Do LaB’s founders) had Hans Haveron and I at Coachella two years ago to do live painting as well. That was amazing. I think the size of the crowds at Coachella was really overwhelming but it was incredible to have that many people seeing your work at once.

“The people at LIB have so much respect for art and the artists,” added Park. “I can leave my stuff out the entire festival, go to sleep and be confident that no one would have come in and screwed around with my painting. With each passing year, the art of LIB has gotten better, so that’s been cool to be a part of.”

Classical Training & Finding His Artistic Passion

Park has worked tirelessly to refine his classically-taught artistic skills, but the road to discovering his own unique creative voice proved to be challenging after receiving his degree from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design.

“I had a couple of really amazing professors who sort of made sure to let me know that style should be the last thing on my mind, especially as a student,” recalled Park. “For me it was learning anatomy, classical sculpture and painting. So when I finally got out here to Los Angeles, I had pretty much spent about ten years doing figurative oil paintings and portraits. Not deviating at all from my classical trainings. These were very beautiful paintings that I hated doing because they were so stiff. It felt like homework or a chore to me. So I spent those ten years struggling to create even a moderate amount of work because even though the technique was sound, it just wasn’t my passion.

“Luckily, through random chance, I happened to get together with David Haskell and he and I started painting together in 2006,” Park shared. “He’s a crazy metal worker and sculptor, but we would get together and do these big abstract pieces where would take a piece of wood and start painting whatever on it. There were no rules. We spent a year doing these and I think we did about sixteen in one year. That was also the first time that I did live painting too. It was an amazing experience because we were using materials that I didn’t ever pick up when I was in school. Through that whole process I kind of latched onto this technique that he and I sort of developed together. When I moved out here and started hanging out with different artists and discovered Burning Man and that community, my introduction to that style of art was inevitable. For me, that was such a huge wake-up call. But to also have a classical background was also really important. That stuff takes a lot of time to learn and a lot of discipline. Not everybody has what it takes to invest in that kind of time.”

He added, “When I was finally able to free myself, it was really incredible. It was the first time in my life that I was cranking out work that I felt was technically sound, which incorporated classical theory but at the same time had the raw energy and passion that really inspired me. So the kind of art work I wanted to do wasn’t a chore, it was fun to do and became my favorite activity. Now I live for live painting.”

Capturing the Audience’s Energy on Canvas

At our up-coming show featuring the sounds of Robot Koch, R/D and Deru at the King King, Park will look to feed off the crowd to capture the energy of the evening onto his canvas.

“When I’m doing live painting, I really do try to pack in as much work as I possibly can,” said Park. “This pretty much means not taking any breaks. The last time I was at LIB, I did three, 12-hour days, where I was pretty much painting non-stop during that time period. That sort of thing is not possible unless the crowd energy is corresponding to what you want to do. At the end of the event, I’d hope people would think what I had painted was pretty. That’s ultimately the job of the artist, to create something beautiful and pleasant to look at. Something that draws the audience in and keeps them in. I’d also hope that through my execution, people found something to feel passionate about.”

“I try to keep the entertainment value in mind as well as the aesthetic, Park added. “So I use a lot of layers that transform the painting from one hour to the next, resulting in a piece that drastically changes over the course of the event. I live for those moments where you can focus in and use this energy that’s outside yourself to generate something that comes from within yourself.”

Come join us this Thursday, March 8th at King King to see what John Park will be painting to the sounds of Robot Koch, R/D and Deru. There’s still a limited number of pre-sale tickets available so click here to purchase yours.






Also, on March 10th, be sure to check out John Park’s highly anticipated showing at the C.A.V.E. Gallery in Venice where he’ll be unveiling five exclusive new paintings that will bridge the two worlds he’s been operating in like never before! Further event details can be found here:

To see more of John Park’s paintings visit:

Let us know what you think about John Park’s art in the comment section below and you can be eligible to win a signed poster/print (see below)!!

Bonus video: Watch Howard Kan’s video interview with John Park:

One Response to “John Park Bridges the Gap Between Classical Composition and Urban Aesthetics for Up-Coming Live Painting Performance at King King”

  1. Sonya Says:
    March 6th, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    He’s rad, I love the way his brain works!

Leave a Reply