United States (1944 - 2016)
A pillar of Port Richmond, Staten Island, John Foxell (1944 – 2016), led many lives and lived them all with uncompromising intensity. The sculptures and “pictures” in this, his first one-man show, were all made after 9/11, which he unfortunately witnessed up-close from his lower Manhattan office at the New York City Courts. Diagnosed with PTSD after the destruction, his doctor suggested channeling his anguish into creative pursuits. He had always written —poems, short stories, and essays, — but after the Trade Center attacks, and unbeknownst to all but his friends and neighbors, he began to create an extraordinary body of remarkable art. He later said, “I realized that these big hands,” which he sometimes referred to as his “strangler’s hands,” “are going to make things!”
John filled his 1840’s salt-box house with the idiosyncratic art we are exhibiting here. Both macabre and Pop, Foxell’s exuberant, free-wheeling, constructions are assemblages for the 21st century, and uniquely his. A self-taught artist, he created new work every day of his last decade, building an entire world from the cast-off toys and random detritus collected on his daily walks and weekly flea market forays. John Foxell lived an extraordinarily varied life of genuine eccentricity and compulsive creativity.