Dan's Cover Artist John Joseph Hanright Explores Love in 'Super Hot'
For our breast cancer awareness cover, we turned to Andrea McCafferty and Kat O’Neill, owners of The White Room Gallery in Bridgehampton, who were kind enough to provide us with this lovely piece, “Super Hot,” by John Joseph Hanright.
We spoke to the gallery owners about this week’s cover, Hanright’s art and love.
The White Room Gallery on
How did The White Room Gallery acquire John Joseph Hanright’s “Super Hot” and what makes it a valuable addition to the gallery’s collection?
We have exclusive representation of John on the East End and with that came many wonderfully engaging pieces including “Super Hot.” All John’s work incorporates vintage imagery, icons and more recent ephemera. “Super Hot” celebrates love with all its facets and as love is universal in its appeal “Super Hot” speaks to a myriad of audiences.
What makes this piece an ideal choice for Dan’s Papers cover art?
Being that this is the breast cancer issue, a theme of love seems the perfect choice as it is often the strongest lifeline through challenging times. Love as a construct defines the human condition, triggering a cavalcade of emotions. At one point in time the word love just meant joy but now, in today’s world, it is not only a hope but a call to action.
How is this painting representative of Hanright’s style and work as a whole?
Nostalgic intrigue is the catalyst of John’s work. Inspired by Warhol and Duchamp, John incorporates collage and painting to challenge the viewer to not only see John’s narrative but to recollect or imagine their own. For John, the pop culture of the ’50s and ’60s had an innate sense of wonder. Robert Indiana, who passed away in 2018, did the first sculpture of a stacked “Love” turning it into an enduring art for future generations to make their own. What John did with Love is evidenced in the art that surrounds and lives within the letters: “Super.” “Hot.” “Toasted.” “Lucky.” “Mystery.” “Amazing.” “Few more miles.” “No strings attached.” And beyond the words there are the 13 bullseyes. Lucky 13 or perhaps a reference to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” “Maybe there’s a god above, as for me all I’ve ever learned from love is how to shoot somebody who outdrew you.” All open to interpretation. And therein lies the allure of John’s oeuvre.
How would you describe Hanright’s brand of contemporary art, and how does it set itself apart from similar artists?
We represent many pop artists and though they all work with an homage to the past, each has their own signature style. It’s very much like music. Many artists play the guitar, but you would not mistake Jimi Hendrix with B.B. King. John’s a wonderful songwriter but you have to look closely to hear the lyrics. His verses come together through a reworking of texts, images and painting with humor, insight and provocation until the coruscating tapestry is signed.
How has Hanright’s status in the art world evolved since The White Room Gallery first acquired works by the artist, and how do you foresee his career’s trajectory moving forward?
The enemy of success is complacency. An artist can be extremely talented, but if he or she isn’t constantly trying to push the envelope of their own creativity then the career gets stagnant. John’s strength lies in his endless well of inspiration and subsequent output with every piece unique in how it tells the story. A painted outline of the female form sporting a bikini with nostalgic images within the outline and the phrase: “Knock-Out Punch,” “BOMB” juxtaposed with the shell station logo and “How The West Was Won.” A black shooting range target alongside stars filled with images and phrases like “airplane mode,” “yes please,” “put us in a box,” “erotic love,” “good karma” and “hold on for dear life” covered with stripes of “Freedom….American Style.” It is these kinds of artistic choices that will garner John the acclaim that he so deserves, and we are elated to be part of that journey.
Would you say Hanright’s art appeals more to your New York or Florida clientele, or is it equally popular in both markets?
The use of memories, history and a pure appreciation of the human pop culture voyage of the past 60 years reaches both audiences. One could argue that the vibrancy of John’s pieces might resonate more in Florida, but we work with collectors and designers in both markets who side with Kandinsky when he stated, “Color is a power which directly influences the soul.”
Would you like to share any closing thoughts or additional info?
John’s work is on view at the gallery in the current exhibit On the Bright Side. The exhibit is up until November 13 but we show all year long. Current gallery hours are Thursday to Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.