John Cadigan is both the director and subject of People Think I’m Crazy. He is also a talented artist, whose woodcuts have been exhibited around the country to critical acclaim.
John speaks here about his art and his sources of inspiration. Selected reviews of his work are listed below his own words.
Art is my life—I’ve always known I’d be an artist. I think in images, not in words.
Making art is like breathing—a necessary part of my life.
I love what Jean Cocteau once said. “Asking an artist to describe his work is like asking a plant to explain horticulture.”
My work merges contemporary, mystical themes with ancient symbology, combining inspiration from my unconscious with imagery embodied in historical and cultural artifacts. That is as far as I can go in describing my art.
I think of my artwork as an invitation into the exploration of mystery – the mysteriousness of the unknown, the imagination and the marvelous. Through my imagery I try to tap into people’s search for that ‘special something,’ the search to be touched by the ineffable – the search for a momentary encounter with the mysterious spark of life.
I trained at the Art School at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. I also spent the most wonderful year of my life studying painting and printmaking in Rome with the Temple University Art Program.
My woodcuts have been exhibited in galleries and museums around the United States including:
- San Jose Museum of Art
- Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
- Kennedy Center for Performing Arts Gallery
- University of Wyoming Art Museum
A few years after finishing the film I got my first major commission to create two liturgical relief carvings of healing stories from the Synoptic Gospels in the New Testament for a church.
I chose the Transfiguration, where God’s light shines radiantly through Jesus and the disciples learn Jesus is God’s son, and then the story of Lazarus, who Jesus raised from the dead.
Both carvings are now mounted on either side of the altar in the healing chapel of the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in San Carlos, California.
Reviews of John’s Art
“Cadigan’s artwork flourishes!”
– Los Angeles Times
“His beautiful woodcuts… unite the feverish ecstasy of William Blake with the intricacy of a medieval illuminated manuscript.”
– Chicago Tribune
“Extremely affecting… primal psychological symbols – faces, snakes and writhing bodies – are rendered in a haunting, almost medieval style.”
– New York Times
“Masterful, intricate woodcarvings”
– Time Out, New York