John Divola

“There’s nothing particularly rebellious about painting in a completely abandoned house,” Divola said. “These are places that people have given up. It’s not the same as painting on the side of somebody’s business, or genuinely being destructive.” Divola.

“Why differentiate between sculpture, painting, and performance when its all going to end up as a photograph anyway?” Divola.

Divola called this series Vandalism, as he has already stated in his quote that these buildings had already been forgotton, abandoned, and left to ruin. No one cared anymore. So this wasn’t like he was engaged in distruction when he was painting. He was engaged in agitating and altering the surfaces to bring a new meaning to these spaces. These black and white photographs capture patterns, pyramids and circles. Claiming the forgotton spaces as his own.

They remind us of the history of painting and cave wall drawings, but also echo street art and graffiti. He states that he cannot see the point in trying to tell the differnce between all types of art, when it will end up as a photograph anyway. I can see similarities in our work by way of altering what we know about the surfaces. What we conceal and what we make available for the viewer to see. There is a connection for both of us with architecture, the places where people work and human intervention. We are both making work with our hands in meditative quiet spaces.

Ferrier, Hope City Fold. 2021

Initially there does not appear to be connection between our work, especially visually. However on further exploration we are both engaged with derelict buildings, exploring their history and giving them a new meaning. By engaging in these transformative activities, then photographing them we go through a hands on process of alteration. Ultimately ending with a piece of photographic art.

‘John Divola’s Artistic Vandalism Is Still Fresh After 40 Years’. 2021. [online]. Available at: [accessed 5 May 2021].

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