John Bjerklie was born in Los Angeles and lives and works in Elmhurst, NYC. He studied at Syracuse University, Maine College of Art, and Washington University, Missouri and has taught at Savannah College of Art and Design, UNC at Greensboro, Rutgers, and Marymount Manhattan College, among other institutions. He also works as a scenic journeyman painter, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Triangle Artists’ Association, an international artists residency based in Brooklyn.
Bjerklie’s practice involves a wide range of activities that contextualize the act of making paintings and sculpture using surveillance cameras and monitors in order to play with the ambiguities of time and space, fiction and reality by juxtaposing live and recorded videos in low-tech constructions. Bjerklie embraces multiple identities to inhabit these environments, including a character known as BigHat, who calls himself a Super Duper Post Modernist Pleinaire Painter. Examples have been seen at Parker’s Box Gallery in Brooklyn, Pulse Art Fair, Floating Studios in Lawrence, Mass., the Museum of Contemporary Art in Marseille, Elsewhere Artists’ Collaborative and the Weatherspoon in North Carolina. More recently BigHat appears in a project known as The Slow Healing Train that engages other artists in collaborative ventures in what is essentially a migrating studio, which began at the Art Lot in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and has continued in a variety of short term residencies including ABCnoRio, the Union Docs Film Festival in Brooklyn, and The Loft in Cadaques, Spain.
Since 2014, Bjerklie has been Artist in Residence during the summer at Minoterie21 in Peillac, France.