"I am compelled to make art objects and know my voice can best be heard in visual form. Although my earlier work was based more on dark humor and underground comics, a dramatic change for me came in 1998. As my father's Alzheimer's worsened, this disease and his role as a parent became subject matter for new work--paintings about family and culture--ideas of memory and recall. My current work addresses concerns that I have, issues of cultural preservation and assimilation, acceptance, consumption and thoughtless disregard for humanity and the environment, past and present.
The layering of paint and imagery have become metaphors for personal memory and history while the paintings content is based on values skewed by our perceptions and personal belief systems. Visual complexity in the form of images playing off each other to construct a narrative has become more important. It's my intent to create paintings that remain visually compelling at a distance as well as up close--again illustrating the idea that what is seen at face value changes under closer examination. By introducing appropriated images from American culture and the indigenous people of the Philippines, I 'm bridging my cultural past with my cultural present, thus creating my own non-linear path in history."
John Yoyogi Fortes, Artist Statement