As a storyteller, John Moran’s work is constructed from a series of anecdotes, references, and experiences. While he draws ties to American pop culture, politics, and social issues, it’s not done arbitrarily. The artist attempts to illustrate how he sees the barrage of consumerism, religion, and politics colliding with depictions of social injustice, secular beliefs, and popular culture. These hot sculpted works pack an emotional punch through unforgettable imagery as seen in pieces such as New Times Roman and Sale of the Deathman.
Moran States: “I myself am a product of all of these things; I am American, and America was founded on dissent. To paraphrase Picasso: my work is a collection of lies, hopefully helping the viewer realize the truth. Though for me the truth is not absolute, it is simply how I see the world. It is not necessarily an attempt at subversion, but more an attempt to reconcile, and in a way celebrate, the absurdity and hypocrisy of society.”
These attributes and ideologies made Moran’s appearance on the Netflix glassblowing competition series, Blown Away 3, a personal nod to irony. Originally from Philadelphia, the winner of Season 3 currently resides in Ghent, Belgium, where he directs Gent Glas, a community glass studio he co-founded in 2014. The mission of Gent Glas is to build an inclusive community of artists working to introduce glass as an artistic medium to the public.
Receiving his BFA from Tyler School of Art and MFA from Illinois State University, Moran recently completed his PhD at Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wroclaw, Poland. He has participated in several international artist in residence programs including CGCA at WheatonArts, S12, GlazenHuis Lommel, and STARWorks. His work has been exhibited in many galleries and museums across the United States and Europe, including Habatat Galleries, SiC! Gallery, Glasmuseet Ebeltoft, and Delaware Contemporary.
Since winning Blown Away 3, Moran has been extremely busy. October events included demonstrating at Michigan Hot Glass and a Meet the Artist event for the exhibition We Are Blown Away at Habatat Detroit Fine Arts. On October 21 at 7 p.m., Moran will give a public demonstration at the Pittsburgh Glass Center (PGC) alongside Minhi England and John Sharvin. Throughout the month of November, he will participate in Habatat’s online exhibition Not Grandmas Glass. His residency at Museum of Glass Tacoma runs from November 9 – 13. In 2023, an exhibition with England and Sharvin will be held at PGC in February and Moran’s Corning Museum of Glass residency – grand prize for winning Blown Away 3 – begins in April.
Of the inspiration for his glass sculpture, Moran states: “It may not seem autobiographical, but my experiences and observations are the genesis of my ideas. Each piece is a reaction to a specific event, but is not an illustration of it. I pull from everything around me. My own political and religious views, art, books, movies, family, and popular culture culminate into layers of seemingly random references, multiple components, and a visual overload that mimics our daily experience.”