Artistic Excellence 2012 | Jonathan Ahn

Honorable Mention: Jonathan Ahn, California

Jonathan Ahn, The Sentinel, oil, 48 x 48.

Jonathan Ahn, The Sentinel, oil, 48 x 48.

What inspired your winning entry? For me, an inspiration is a seed for an obsession. For THE SENTINEL, the seed came from the city I live in. The inspiration came from a desire to display the stoic aura around the San Francisco landmark. I wanted to paint a portrait of that building and to capture its proud personality in all its degradation and age. When I paint anything I keep my intentions and focus simple, even if the subject matter is complicated. Basic human emotions applied to inanimate objects just as easily drive my artwork.

Where did you study art? I was lucky enough to be mentored by a master artist starting at the age of 7 in Boston, MA. My formal art education culminated with earning a master’s degree in fine art from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in 2010.

How would you describe your style? 
My style could be considered contemporary realism, if a label must be applied. Although my style originates from an intuitive nature, the foundation has been a rigorous academic training.

What is your pet peeve? My pet peeve is people who tell me, “Artists can’t make a living.” Another pet peeve is texting drivers.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be? Along the way to becoming an artist, I studied software engineering, biochemistry, and law. If I wasn’t an artist now, I would likely be a lawyer practicing intellectual property law.

What are your goals for the future? I want to cultivate an appreciation for representational work so others can share the same passion that I have for it.

What galleries represent your work? Waterhouse Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA; Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Cohen Abee Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Sloane Merrill Gallery, Boston, MA.

Featured in the December 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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