'Sanctuary' 2022 Oil on beveled canvas 33” x 33” 3”. Courtesy of John Koller and Launch LA.

‘Surface Play’ ft. John Koller @ Launch LA

June 24, 2022

John Koller provides us with an ideal sense of balance to his artistic expression of oil on canvas as part of the Surface Play opening at Launch LA. The impressions he leaves upon the mind of the viewer or subject is one which has elements of bedazzlement; of aura; of ritualistic wonder. And yet, through the extension of these sensual impressions, there is the coy treatment without a bludgeoning of magnitude or scale to these pieces, bringing us a more refined concept of nobility in fine arts.


This is to say, unquestionably, scale is beneficial to will a sense of the profoundly magnificent upon each subject’s perception of the world. It is through the exposure or experience to such magnificence which can bring the mind of the viewer to a different plane of perspective; that of the eternally memorable; that which is simply the quintessence of beauty. Yet to be able to achieve such eternal resonances in barely a 3’x3’ canvas is commendable. It provides the public with a more exacting measure of, not reticence, but refinement in accomplishing the same objective as the grandiose.


“See You Again” 2022
Oil and spray paint on beveled canvas
33” x 33” 3″

This efficiency in action by Mr. Koller informs us of the gradients in quality of beauty! It is here where we can make bold in our proclamation of the beautifully extensive opportunities man has in his invisible arsenal. The ardor in scintillating so sublimely, and yet to accomplish the goal with such depth of proportionality; does it implore the artistic to do more with less? To punctuate minutely, yet nevertheless sumptuously? What other forms of media can we include to suggest such loftiness in Western Fine Arts? After all, this tradition of high-artisanry is propelled by the immortal efforts at communing with the immortal souls of the Divine Gods of the Pantheon. Yet elegance is lacking in the Western Civilized pagan anthropocentric perspective of an ideal “Most High”. To signify the divine as necessarily beautiful, to compel the soul of man to extend itself towards eternity with such a confident dogma of what is, in the words of Cicero in is On the Nature of the Gods, worthy of worship, perhaps develops a human focus on a permanently dominant affectation upon the body’s senses? To drown it with unwavering awe?

“Temple” 2022
Oil on beveled canvas
33” x 33” x3″. Courtesy of John Koller and Launch LA.

We are then left with the confrontation of where Fine Arts resides in the new millennium, compared to its ancestral legacy. Mr. Koller reminds us of the need for the artist to birth novel forms of beautiful experiences, yet for its very sake? Is this not what signifies a noble end? That which is distinct from what is animal nature, and that which man can express through his rational faculties, to correspond with other minds alone, thereby improving the harmonious ordering of the universal and necessary, i.e. the Natural World? We are here openly pondering the measure of magnificence and whether minimalism is more tasteful, given contemporary Western Civilization’s abundances in material.


Mr. Koller has a wordless intimation toward the native with his tribalistic forms which do not dominate the canvas but are nonetheless apparent. Each with their own unique styling, they perhaps provide further context in signifying the action of the natural to be wiser than the actions of man and the extension of his imagination. Grandeur in beauty might lead to ostentation, and a loss of contact with the permanently perceivable eternal movement of the cosmic; that natural principling of physical action which necessarily is continuously occurring whether or not the mind of man bears witness to it. It is that confident circumspection of taste Mr. Koller provides us with in his opening, to not be hasty in the inebriation of man-made images, which provides such a wonderful pleasure to being alive.


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