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 John Caple  (1966 - )

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Lived/Active: England      Known for: Folk art painting

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Ad Code: 4
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from Auction House Records.
Twilight Village (diptych)
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

John Caple ( b.1966)

He is entirely self-taught and as untroubled by contemporary art as he is unbothered by academic training.  His work requires neither.  He has worked out the way he paints entirely for himself, a manner of painting that is straightforward, simple and perfectly suited to the job.  It belongs to that long tradition of English folk art that one sees in medieval church carving, samplers and early English pottery.  In the twentieth century the folk tradition was often confused with naïve art, yet an important distinction exists between the two and that distinction in many ways helps to understand John's work. Whereas a naïve artist paints entirely from within a private, enclosed world, an artist like John Caple is expressing stories and sentiments that have a shared ownership.  In the twenty-first century he is an oddity amongst painters - though that is an observation that will trouble him little.

John Caple says Mendip is a hard county.  His family have farmed and quarried in this corner of Somerset since the eighteenth century and certainly the quarrymans life was, and remains, a tough one.  Old pagan traditions survived despite the concerned attentions of nineteenth century missionaries and even the strict sect of Plymouth Brethren, who maintained a strong foothold in the Mendips.  The tight community in which John grew up has a rich history of remarkable people whose stories were pased down through successive generations.  They and their history continue to be as much a part of the countryside as his own. John Caple's knowledge derives mainly from family tradition and his Great Uncle Orion Owen, who in old age wrote a brief history of the Mendips area.

John Caple's original paintings, all done in mixed media, feature re-occurring faces of his mother, grandparents, uncles and others in scenes derived from his imagination through stories he is told of their pasts.  Each painting describes specific episodes in the lives of these characters.

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