John Culver - Part 1Sparta, Georgia


A slideshow containing images by photographer Fred Scruton.

Southeast Region


John Culver

Traveling Through Time In Search Of Paradise

Art Type or Medium: Painting

Viewable: by appointment

Secular or Religious: Secular with Religious aspects

John Culver spends hours working on his meticulously detailed drawings most days.  He lives frugally in a family double-wide and seems to harbor no consumer culture aspirations, and he works at Family Affair, a take-out restaurant at the end of his street. 

John Culver; Sparta, GA 2018
John Culver; Sparta, GA 2018

Pursuing work as a chef and a meat cutter, John moved to Atlanta in his early twenty’s.  After a difficult relationship breakup, he started to draw for the first time, and found that making art could take his mind to happier, far away places.  In order to save on daily overhead and support his daughter, John returned to his hometown of Sparta, Georgia in 2000.

Bringing together his interests in history, science, and science fiction, John’s drawings display images derived from the historical past along with projections about the distant future.  Among the old masters, he especially admires Leonardo Da Vinci’s melding of art and science, and that his centuries early predictions and inventions must have seemed like science fiction in the 1400’s.

With a grade school education, and no art-training in his background, John believes that God works through him to create these visionary works of art.  Pulling back from the experience of normal daily life in linear time, the God’s eye view of John’s drawings reveal an unexpected inter-connectedness where time and space flow freely between the past, present, and future, the earthbound and outer-space.  For example, his drawings envision the pyramids of his ancient ancestors as epicenters of an unseen energy that power futuristic spacecraft called ‘marchonaughts’ (phonetic spelling) with magnetized nuclear energy.  Examples of works in progress:

©John Culver, ca 2012
©John Culver; energy transfer to a pyramid-inspired ‘marchonaught’
Work of John Culver; Sparta, GA 2020
Work of John Culver; Sparta, GA 2020

After seeing one of John’s drawings at the American Folk art Museum’s 2010 exhibition, “Approaching Abstraction,” I sent a postcard (to what I hoped was his address) just prior to a photo road trip through Georgia in May of 2010.  He called my cellphone while I happened to be in Athens, Georgia and we were able to visit two days later – my wife and I arrived at the door of his family’s double-wide with take-out sandwiches and the next thing we knew, we were all sitting around the dining table like old friends.

John Culver; Sparta, GA 2012
John Culver; Sparta, GA 2018
John Culver; Sparta, GA 2011

John does not have gallery representation, but arrangements to view and purchase his work can be made by calling him directly: ‭(478) 232-4841‬.

See also: