Introduction: I have found that the visual “language' of trompe l’ oeil allows me to effectively commu- nicate with a very large audience. People take delight in being visually tricked. Once intrigued by the illusion, the viewer is invited to visually cross into the mural to explore and discover the deeper concept.
With a clear intention to create a public art attraction, I strive to design a mural in a way that is not a commonplace mural. Often this includes creating an illusion that is iconic or a dynamic anomaly. The passerby is much more apt to engage with an uncommon ar- chitectural event or phenomenon while he or she unconsciously surveys the urban landscape.
Creating a ‘sense of place’ is paramount. It is important for me as an artist, to research the area and its community, formulating concepts based upon a multitude of historical, environmental, and cultural viewpoints. If the mural can serve to educate about the culture and heritage of a place, it will deepen roots, and create a pride of place.
Ultimately the goal with the mural is to conjure fresh feelings and perceptions, and evoke a sense of connectivity with the mural, within us, and the world around us.Here is a short resume of John Pugh, including his mural commissions.
Here is a partial list of commissions:
* Aquarium on the Boardwalk - Branson, MI
* Denver Zoo / City Park, Denver Arts Commission, CO
* City Walk Mural Project, Government of UAE - Dubai, UAE
* Quetzalcoatl Mural Project, Government of Mexico - Mexico City
* Jean Cocteau Theater, George RR Martin - Santa Fe, NM
* State Library, Wisconsin Historical Society - Madison, WI
* City of La Crosse, National Endowment for the Arts - La Crosse, WI
* GE Wonderground Mural Project - LA, Boston, SF, Chicago, and NYC
* City of Hermosa Beach - LA, CA
* Universal Studios - Japan
* Westside Recreation Centre, Calgary Arts Commission - Calgary, Canada
* Pepsi Cola International - New York City
* Santa Cruz Redevelopment Agency - Santa Cruz, CA
* Juvenile Hall Visitors Lobby - Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission,
* Dimond High School, Anchorage Arts Commission - Anchorage, AK
* Wonder Works Science Museum - Gatlinburg, TN
* Palo Alto Medical Foundation (two projects) - Palo Alto, CA
* Rotorua Public Library, Arts Commission - Rotorua, New Zealand
* Sarasota Health Department, Florida Art in State Buildings - Sarasota, FL
* Berryessa Community Center, San Jose Arts Commission - San Jose, CA
* Hayward City Hall, Hayward Arts Commission - Hayward, CA
* Debra Winger - (private) New York, NY
* Global Mural Conference Project - Twentynine Palms, CA
* University of North Florida, Florida Art in State Buildings - Jacksonville, FL
* Levi Strauss - Dayton, NV, and Jacksonville, OR
* University of Alaska, 1% For Art Commission - Fairbanks, AK
* Kaiser Permanente Hospital - Santa Clara, CA
* Victor Valley College Library, Arts Commission - Victorville, CA
* Standin' on a Corner in Winslow, Arizona Park - Winslow, AZ
* ICTV, California Design International - San Francisco, CA
* Stanford Shopping Center, Stanford University - Palo Alto, CA
* California State University, Chico
He was the recipient of awards, such as Distinguished Alumnus from California State University, Chico; as a Master Muralist from San Francisco, CA; and Most Successful Mural Artist from California Mural Symposium.
He has received publicity with the completion of over two hundred and fifty murals, and his work has appeared in articles and media worldwide, including Time, Artweek, L.A. Times, New York Times, USA Today, Good Morning America, London Sun, Tokyo Mainichi, BBC World News, Art Business News, Southwest Art, and San Francisco Examiner.
The book, The Murals of John Pugh: Beyond Trompe L'oeil by Random House, is available at Barnes and Noble.