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John Tierney lives in Durham City in the north east of England. He is a regular visitor to Los Angeles and most of his work takes as its subject matter the urban landscape of the city – the light in LA being of particular importance. Furthermore, the architecture of LA is, to put it mildly, seductively eclectic, taking in old and new iconic buildings and a whole range of small-scale, quirky establishments.
Working in oils, the basic aim is quite straightforward: to create paintings that provide a strong sense of place, a feeling of what it is like to be there. He visits these various locations as, in a sense, an ‘outside’ observer, one who is fascinated by the differences between them and the urban and rural landscapes of the UK. In terms of influences, John admires the work of Edward Hopper, Peter Blake and David Hockney. Until 2010 he worked in higher education as a lecturer and researcher in criminology until retiring from Durham University, which brought with it an opportunity to paint on a full-time basis.
In 2012 he had his first solo exhibition at the British designer Paul Smith’s iconic store in LA. Alongside this, Paul Smith used one of John’s paintings of the store as the image for a limited edition silk scarf. His second solo exhibition took place in 2013 at the Horsebox Gallery in Knightsbridge, London. In December 2013 he won the top prize of Artist of Distinction in the inaugural Joshua Tree National Park art competition. In the last couple of years exhibitions have taken place in New York and Santa Monica.
John Tierney and Paul Smith teamed up again in October of 2016 on a clothing capsule collection/art exhibition to celebrate the famous pink wall of the Melrose Avenue store.
His first solo show in LA, titled ‘John Tierney’s Los Angeles’ at Gallery Brown in 2017, was a resounding success.