John Sparagana

Study for Der Spiegel with Burgoyne Diller

Oil stick on inkjet print, mounted to paper
10 3/4 x 7 3/4 inches
Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago

< Artists + Writers

John Sparagana, lives in Chicago, IL and Houston, TX

“When he speaks about his latest body of works, gathered under the title of the German magazine from which it draws its sources, Der Spiegel, John Sparagana sometimes lands on the words ‘ghosts’ and ‘ruins.’ His collaged images are distressed, consisting of mass-mediated magazine pages that have been manually fatigued, then systematically cut and pasted, interrupting and altering the original image. They have a preternatural feel. The clear, punchy, informational news images are defaced, made ambiguous and enigmatic. They are ghosts and ruins indeed, but not specters of the particular people and scenes in each page’s photos or the text that accompanies them. Instead, they are perhaps better thought of as ghosts of their own mediation, the ruins offering a lament for an ecstatic mode of communication, an elegy on impermanence. All the blurring, in the end, reveals more than it covers up. It sets up a distinctive tension with the latent images, text, and page-designs, a kind of generalized abstraction that draws out hidden meanings, a poetic dimension previously unseen, unexamined.”

– John Corbett, “Pop Press as a Microtonal Field: Reflections on John Sparagana’s Der Spiegel Series,” 2014