about the work
Nothing is Difficult Forever is John Skibo’s solo show of figurative sculptures and paintings at MTN SPACE GALLERY in Lake Worth, FL in March of 2022. The figures are distorted with limbs akimbo, detached from what one might expect, they appear to be broken or falling apart. They are not falling apart; they are made that way. He makes them by tracing his own body or that of his partner’s. The sculptures have many heads and no distinct race or identity. They are scattered and incomplete, defined and rough around the edges. They are made with construction materials like plywood, rigid foam and house paint, mostly leftovers from working as a carpenter on homes that at times date back to the 19th Century. In these construction materials he sees a connection to the homes we all live in. By making the sculptures with these materials, a relationship is formed between the figure and that which surrounds it. Thus, creating a kind of play on the idea of people being a product of their environment. The sculptures wear old clothing that show the years of wear in the elbows and knees. The clothing is from John’s closet and the stuffing is from old pillows, in them he has found inspiration in the worn edges and the forms they create.
Historically only people of great importance could afford to commission artwork. John wants to connect to this history through his paintings and sculptures. He likes the possibility that his work could represent anyone, that a viewer could potentially see themselves in the portraits. Nothing is Difficult Forever, is an attempt to create a world where everyone is important and worthy of representation. Figurative work to him feels connected to the time it was made, but also connected to our shared experience throughout time. In painting these imagined bodies, he is searching for something that feels like a reflection of now. He is looking for a way to depict the complexity of being a person that is united with other people in our universal struggle. As an artist John has started to understand his own struggle and the advantage of where and to whom he was born. For him these pieces are an exploration of bigger existential questions. He wasn’t raised a religious person and struggles with the why of our existence and the why of painting. While painting the light and the dark he finds beauty in the lifeless forms, creating something new that is both outside of himself and about himself. He’s searching for answers to the bigger questions, in the hope that Nothing is Difficult Forever.