April 5, 2021

Repainting To Atone with John David Yanke

Artist John David Yanke paints a new color on his sculpture To Atone. Photo: Scottsdale Arts

The decision was made this past year to extend the current installation period of IN FLUX Cycle 9 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The next round of IN FLUX will start up again in 2022, but in the meantime, Cycle 9 artworks in Scottsdale will remain on view, including Stored Echoes/Secondary Effusion/To Atone by John David Yanke.

Stored Echoes/Secondary Effusion/To Atone consists of three colorful pieces—all installed at Miller Plaza on the northeast corner of Miller Road and Indian School Road—that complement each other. Two spring-based creations, Secondary Effusion and Stored Echoes, frame the more traditional sculpture, To Atone. For Secondary Effusion, Yanke used mattress spring units with water-based enamel, and for Stored Echoes, he used coil springs and spiral wire with water-based enamel. To Atone was created with marine-grade plywood and water-based enamel.

John David Yanke sets up to repaint his sculpture To Atone at Miller Plaza. Photo: Scottsdale Arts

With this significant time extension, Yanke took the opportunity to repaint To Atone. It is not common practice to change a public artwork that has already been installed for several months, so we have asked him to share a bit more about the artwork and the thinking behind this change through the Q&A below:

Scottsdale Public Art: What role does To Atone play in connecting Stored Echoes and Secondary Effusion in the Miller Plaza installation?

John David Yanke: To Atone is the largest color area between the two pieces. It will more likely call attention to it from a distance because of this. Stored Echoes and Secondary Effusion being constructed from mattress springs can’t hold or reflect color well. Mattress springs are visually porous.

SPA: Why and how were the colors selected for each of the three sculptures?

JDY: I select colors based on triads such as red, yellow, blue and complementary such as green and red, however, I like to play with less obvious, pure colors, yet I want them to be saturated. For instance, instead of red, yellow, blue, I’d choose variations of purple, orange, green.  To Atone gave me the opportunity to use both triads and complementary. I painted the edges so that you would be able to see all of the colors on the piece from certain angles.  

To Atone by John David Yanke color change side-by-side. Left: original color scheme. Right: new color scheme. Photos: Scottsdale Arts

SPA: What is the reasoning behind changing the colors of To Atone?

JDY: The easy answer is simply for variety, however, I would like to experiment more with color and its changing, day into night appearance. The original green came very close to disappearing, making the sculpture look as if half of it was fading into the night. Can I enhance that appearance? The colors also change based on the parking lot lights and signage from the businesses the sculptures are near. That’s just fun to watch happen. 

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