Jon Sarkin is an American visual artist based in Gloucester, MA.

A photo of Jon Sarkin displaying a poster board-sized piece of artwork

Photo by Ted Deneger

He is best known for his frenetic and visually arresting drawings and pantings, which mix words and images. These drawings and paintings cross-hatch and scrawl their way through pop-culture, rock ‘n’ roll, the mundane, and the subconscious.

Jon is currently represented by the Henry Boxer Outside Art Gallery in London, as well as the Cavin-Morris Gallery in New York City.

He has exhibited in New York, Boston, L.A., Oxford, Princeton, Liverpool, and London, and Paris. His work is in the collections of The Centre Pompidou in Paris, The American Visionary Art Museum, and the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA. Jon's work is also in the possession of several prominent private collections, such as those of musicians Pete Townshend and Warren Ellis. 

Jon began his career as an outsider artist in 1989, when complications from a neurosurgery led to a stroke, which prevented him from returning to work as a chiropractor. While his artwork was initially therapeutic - respite from the havoc the stroke wreaked on his nervous system - he has developed a truly novel artistic voice, as well as a seasoned consistency.

Jon’s projects, past and current, include:

Jon is also a visiting professor at the Pingry School in New Jersey, as well as Salem State college in Massachusetts.

Currently, Jon is working on photo-documenting and digitizing his entire collection of artwork, which is estimated to be in the low five-figures in volume.

Artwork

 

In the Press

Jon was most notably featured in the Fall 2023 issue of Raw Vision magazine. You can read the article or order the issue on their website.

Jon has been the subject of much media attention since the early 1990s including GQ, The New York Times, The New Yorker, BBC, and The Discovery Channel. He was the subject of a biography, Shadows Bright as Glass, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Amy Ellis Nutt.

If you're interested in writing about Jon, review our press kit and/or reach out for an interview at art@jonsarkin.com. What follows is a non-exhaustive list of articles and videos from high-profile publications, as well as relevant television and film appearances. 

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    1996

    • Metamorphosis (pdf), Gentlemen's Quarterly, Andrew Corsello, July 15 1996

      Other

       

      The Books

      Book Cover: The Art of Jon Sarkin

      The Art of Jon Sarkin

      The art of Jon Sarkin is an unmediated outpouring of creativity emerging from a mysterious psychological space we all possess, but which is usually inaccessible. The door to that world was unlocked for Jon by a catastrophic event, but what was lost was also accompanied by a new ability to communicate powerfully through visual art. The door for Jon remains open and through it he continues to share his unique vision with the world. In this richly illustrated book Colin Rhodes provides an invaluable introduction to the artist's work.

       

      Shadows Bright As Glass

      In "Shadows Bright As Glass: The Remarkable Story of One Man’s Journey from Brain Trauma to Artistic Triumph (Free Press)", Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Amy Ellis Nut blends a range of neurological findings with the inspiring personal details of Sarkin’s transformative—and artistic—rehabilitation. Below, Nutt details Sarkin’s search for his new self, “line by line, color by color.”

      - Vanity Fair

      The Savant Syndrome

      The strength of this book is the thirty amazing individuals with special talents with art, music, and memory abilities. Dr. Osvaldo shares how each of us may also have a hidden gift waiting to be revealed.

      - Ron Sandison, founder of Spectrum Inclusion, author of A Parent's Guide to Autism: Practical Advice.