portrait Artist Interview: Spotlight on John-Clause Fassoth Saldaña

by Mariah Beckman

Published in Issue No. 244 ~ September, 2017


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John-Clause Fassoth Saldaña may not be classically trained, but he knows that sometimes you don’t find art, art finds you. This 31-year-old, born in Glendale, California, may never have found his calling if he hadn’t fallen on a little hard luck first. Like so many creatives, he worked his way from one job to the other, but never quite found his niche until a chance art project helped him rekindle his love for creation. He credits chance with his self-discovery, and also the love and guidance of his longtime girlfriend, Esther, who he explains is a major impetus for pursuing his artistic dreams.
Now 31-years-old and residing in Walnut, California with Esther, this Filipino-American artist creates tumultuous and energetic abstract pieces. Sensual details and chaotic elements collide on the canvas to create a cacophony of color and emotion in his acrylic work. Perhaps it is his thoughtful use of an unconventional medium that creates such striking visuals: John-Claude’s preferred instrument is a common household tool. We caught up with this emerging artist to learn more about his craft and what makes him tick.

What’s your backstory?

I’m the middle child of three siblings, one younger sister and one older. In 2008, I decided to go to back to school for x-ray technology. I graduated two years later, worked as an x-ray technician for a bit and realized that the medical field wasn’t for me. My heart wasn’t in it. I decided to quit the medical field and worked as a waiter at Benihana for a few years. I lost my job in July 2014. I was unemployed for about four months and life was rough.

Art was actually something that I always wanted to do since I was a kid. I was just always discouraged, though, because apparently it wasn’t a great field to pursue. Since that November night in 2014, I have seen nothing but progression. I developed my style and technique, exhibited at more shows, and sold a number of original artwork. It’s funny now that I look back at it, I actually hated painting and the idea of Abstract art as a kid and into my teenage years. I remember wanting to be an animator and not wanting anything to do with painting, especially Abstract art. I hated the idea of having to mix colors. I especially hated the idea that a bunch of random swirls and marks was called art! Who would have thought that art and ABSTRACT would be what I LOVE doing now.

What do you do now, and what projects are you working on putting together in the future?
am still painting every single day and creating new bodies of work. At the moment, I am in the middle of creating a series of paintings entitled Circus. This is series that reflects the beautiful moments in this ongoing dream we call life. 
What is your personal philosophy, and how–if at all–is it reflected in your artwork?
My personal philosophy is that at any given moment you might die, so you need to do something that excites you. When you do something you are passionate about, you create a positive energy, a power you can use to inspire others to become better versions of themselves. That’s why I do what I do, and painting is the vehicle.

I created the name WreckCreation Art to represent myself because it’s a nice play on words and it represents my life, its struggles and triumphs. WreckCreation Art is the unrestricted, unlimited, creative mind. It’s having the power to shape your own universe, regardless of the circumstances. WreckCreation Art is a reflection of my artistic process, as well as my daily perspective.

My paintings are manifestations of my life in its present state. Each stroke or technique is spontaneous and quick. As my emotion changes, so does the outcome of the canvas. In every piece, there is no room for thought, just feeling.  The canvas becomes a record of the moment.


What mediums do you use most often and what about these draw you in?
My weapon of choice is the paper towel. About 95% of all my work is done with this tool. It allows me to manipulate paint into different shapes and invoke unexpected outcomes. (Or, as I like to say, planned accidents.) One day I couldn’t find my paint brushes and all I had handy were household paper towels. I got creative and used them to blend and apply paint in different ways, and the rest was history.


You can keep up with John-Claude Saldaña’s new pieces and watch the artist at work on Instagram at @wreckcreation.art. Visit his website to explore even more of his evocative abstract artwork.


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Mariah Beckman is a Seattle-based writer and editor. A transplant from the cloudless skies and arid heat of the Arizona desert, Mariah spends most of her time trying not to feel soggy. Mariah holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Arizona State University and spends much of her free time with her beau, her family, and her pot-bellied pig, Bebop. When she’s not pretending to know how to knit, she loves to run, hike, kayak, shop, snap photos, and explore the nooks and crannies of the Pacific Northwest.