John de Heras

Paintings by John de Heras

"Each piece is orchestrated to suggest the power and sophistication of the ceremonial, religious, and narrative art of the pre-Hispanic Mayan culture."

The semi-abstract nature of John de Heras' work derives from defunct Mayan symbolism and architectural ruins. Avoiding the trap of simply transcribing an ancient style into a new context, he creates new forms during the process of painting. Impressions culled from frequent trips to the Mayan jungles of Southern Mexico and Guatemala (paired with voluminous readings on pre-Hispanic art) provide the raw material for those new forms.

Confrontational and direct, de Heras' paintings relate the paradoxical nature of experience. Control and submission, beauty and ugliness, good and evil. Though no visual translation can relate each pair, they determine de Heras' ethos — a synthesis between experience and intuition.

John is on the faculty at California State University, Long Beach.

Artists Directory