John Sanchez (MFA ’09), painter won the South Florida Cultural Consortium (SFCC) grant in 2012 and the Paint Me Miami 2012 competition for his works that depict his own sense of home, place, and identity. For the Paint Me Miami competition, particularly, Sanchez created a piece that, to him, represents the city of Miami. The idea he ran with was to convey on canvas his experiences of being in a vehicle.
“Since I’ve moved [to Miami] twelve years ago, what’s [stuck out] to me is the amount of time I spend in a car,” said Sanchez. Through his paintings, he wishes to place his viewers with him in the car – especially the viewers who, like the artist, sit through the rush hour traffic and restlessly wait for the stoplights to change.
Sanchez is always determined to make his work about more than just himself. “It needs to speak not only to me…,” he said. “In my investigation, I recognize that I’m not the only one that lives this way – I’m not the only one that has this kind of experience….There’s a touch of populism in that we’ve [all] been in a car, we’ve been stuck at a red light, we’ve seen trucks, we’ve seen airplanes – we’re used to this stuff, this visual language that we all share.” Sanchez enjoys having this common ground with his viewers. In a sense, he wants his paintings to be a mode of communication, a way to tell his viewers – as he put it – “Look – look at us.”
Sanchez was born in New Jersey. As a member of the Art Students League of New York, he studied under the direction of painter Peter Cox. He studied his Bachelor of Fine Arts at Miami International University of Art & Design/Art Institute, and his Master of Fine Arts at the Florida International University College of Architecture + The Arts. He has taught at FIU, Miami International University of Art & Design, Nova Southeastern University, and the University of Miami. He currently lives in Broward County, and teaches figure drawing courses at Broward College. His current studio is at Art Center of South Florida in Miami Beach.
The featured image is “In Search for French Broad Sweets” by John Sanchez.