john tank



Tank has spent most of his life doodling and being surrounded by near miss artistic opportunities. After a childhood of fine art classes he discovered comic books. This opened up an entirely new way to approach art which his art teachers would refer to as a "waste of time". After a time he would try to enter the indy Portland comic scene in the mid nineties and have his work printed in small run indy comics such as Drekk and Those Nazi Bastards. He was asked to be a part of a (then) annual, multi-artist comic called Rust City. He met many people that encouraged him to keep at it. Seven dollar designs for up and coming T-shirt companies here and bazaar encounters with bad writers there, it was apparent that this was not sustainable. Fast forward twenty years, Tank is now one of five owners of AFRU gallery in Southeast Portland and re-kindling his  love of  illustration and fine art.


Having an uncontrollable curiosity and drive to learn about and practice all things "art" throughout childhood, it seemed I was set up for a fruitful future in fine art. After high school, real life reared it's head and working as soon as possible was key. Ever since, my life has followed a path of trades and industrial settings. It has been wonderful to learn to be self-sufficient and to gain knowledge in a variety of fields however, my love has always been creating worlds that entertain me and others or simply make myself and at best others laugh. I have been away from this process too long and I am diving back in. I feel as though I am learning all over again. That is was this show represents. A lifetime away. A reconnection with an old friend in solitude. For this reason I upped the ante and chose a subject matter that terrified me simply because there are so many artists in this genre that are amazing and have lifetimes of experience. Sci-fi illustrators have enchanted me and helped me through this journey. From Frank Frazetta to Kris Foss to John Bell, connecting or reconnecting with the masters of their field leaves me in awe and humbled. In everything I have done it has either taught me a skill or humility. With this show I hope to regain the afore and know I will gain the latter.




exhibition gallery


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