Read: IN FLUX In Depth with John David Yanke by Scottsdale Public Art
John David Yanke enjoys spatial illusion. Mattress springs are wonderfully engineered and offer viewers a visual challenge. Both sides look the same, yet even viewed at close-up range it can be difficult to determine spatial orientation. This is especially true when they are layered or bent into themselves. Left bare, they blend into their surroundings, and at distance, what’s behind them seeps through as if they don’t exist. Color is applied in order to reveal or expose. Stored Echoes, the stacked cubes piece, highlights these qualities and proposes a contradiction both formally and conceptually. Secondary Effusion does this in another way, offering viewers three organic forms that seem to be both projecting outward and folding in on themselves. They both seem to have a kinetic energy—they continue to jiggle even when there is no breeze, perhaps receiving vibrations from the ground. To Atone is a more solid sculpture of brightly colored halves of a circle, offset and cut through in order to both reveal the colors of each side and to incorporate the surroundings into itself, offering viewers continually changing perspectives.
John David Yanke is a painter at heart, currently working in three-dimensions, manipulating found domestic, communal items and raw materials. Mattress springs are especially and will continue to be a challenge and visual intrigue for him. Denying the “mattress-ness” through manipulation and hue is Yanke’s current undertaking. His pieces are the beauty of force and order, coerced into a kind of splendor, subdued by color ameliorating the violence in the making. Whether mattress springs or a raw material, color is used to awaken the overall shape. The primary-ness of hue softens rather than covers up. Yanke designed seats and saddlebags for Harley-Davidson Motorcycles in the 1990s and operated a mural and faux painting business and remodeled homes in the early 2000s. Currently, he teaches drawing and painting and holds a master’s degree in guidance counseling from Ottawa University and a master of fine arts in visual art from Azusa Pacific University.