“It’s tempting to tether ourselves to the familiar comfort of the way things are, but fulfillment is often discovered in the unpredictable and unknown.” ~ Jaeda DeWalt

Jon Taner was born and raised in New Jersey. His earliest studies at the Art Students League in New York City were followed by classes at the Philadelphia College of Art in Pennsylvania. He obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the California College of Arts and Crafts (renamed the California College of the Arts) and his Master of Fine Arts from Syracuse University where he was awarded a Ford Foundation Grant.

This idea of fulfillment as articulated by the photographer and poet Jaeda DeWalt found particular resonance in my thoughts as I worked on and completed the paintings in this collection. Fulfillment can mean many things to many people. To an artist, the printed word, the harmonies and counterpoint of music, the voice and gesture of the dramatic arts, or the colors and blank surfaces of the painter, fulfillment comes in the act of intimate communication with the reader, listener, audience, or viewer. All art is a reaching out to share the very personal vision of the artist with others.

The satisfaction for both the artist and the audience is greatest, I think, when that vision offers a fresh and intriguing perspective, a looking away from the familiar. The vision that defines my painting in these works is my attempt to follow Ms. DeWalt’s advice and “untether” myself from the comfort of the familiar. I have used shape, color and scale to create a sense of things both strange and familiar; to flavor the known with the unknown; and give to the viewer a sense of discovery amid scenes and objects. This intriguing ambiguity for the viewer is a result of their memory, abstraction of the natural world, surrealist images, and the melding of all these things into a subjective interpretation.

Painting is as much an act of discovery for me as it is for the viewer. The fulfillment from the act of creating both individual and collective works of art is more satisfying the less predictable my paths, and more surprising my destinations.


Download my Curriculum Vitae >