John Messinger - profile

John Messinger

Conceptual Art

November 14, 2015

John Messinger is an American artist, best known for his large-scale unique tapestries assembled from thousands of individual 3.25-by-4.25 inch Polaroid instant images. As a result, the final works are all one-of-a-kind photographic tapestries.

Installation view of John Messinger's works
Installation view of John Messinger's works

Messinger was born in New York in 1984, and he has been involved with cameras and photography since he was a child. Only 9 years old, Messinger was already familiar with darkroom and photographic process, taught by his godmother, who came to live with his family.

John Messinger's Artworks

Left John Messinger - Reports From The Interior, 2014, Right John Messinger - The Day We Saw It All, 2014
Left: John Messinger - Reports From The Interior, 2014 / Right: John Messinger - The Day We Saw It All, 2014

After completing his studies in photojournalism at Boston University’s College of Communication in 2006, Messinger studied Photography, Video & Related Media at the esteemed School of Visual Arts. After graduation and a MFA in 2010, John bought a van and decided to travel cross-country accompanied with his Polaroid camera. This trip played a crucial role for his development as an artist, from which his unique style of impressive Polaroid tapestries was created.

That, And Everything Else, 2013

John Messinger - That, And Everything Else, 2013
John Messinger - That, And Everything Else, 2013

Reductive yet expansive, abstract yet real, and with seemingly infinite possibilities, Messinger’s artworks carry visual and contextual depth. By fusing indexical and abstract imagery, the artist explores the notions of perception, singularity and time, and the relationship between photography, photographer, and subject.

John Messinger's Artworks

Left John Messinger - How We Learn of Loss (Uncle Ludwig 1949-1995), 2014, Right John Messinger - All of the Light in a Given Space, 2014
Left: John Messinger - How We Learn of Loss (Uncle Ludwig 1949-1995), 2014 / Right: John Messinger - All of the Light in a Given Space, 2014

Works of John Messinger are in a permanent collections of KPMG Art Collection, San Francisco, and The Watermill Center, Robert Wilson Selection, NY. Before becoming a full time independent artist, Messinger worked as a freelance photographer for The Wall Street Journal. He currently teaches photography at the Ross School.

Messinger is represented by UNIX Gallery in New York.

John Messinger lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

All images courtesy of UNIX Gallery and the artist