Artists-in-Residence (AIR) Program Spring 2019 John Yoyogi Fortes

Joan Mitchell Center Artist-in-Residence

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John Yoyogi Fortes

Sacramento, CA
➔ johnyoyogifortes.com

Born in a taxi on Yoyogi Street in Tokyo, Japan, John Yoyogi Fortes is a Filipino-American painter based in Sacramento. His paintings are often large scale explorations of self that lean towards a whimsical, dark, and obscure world. Fortes’s artwork has been exhibited throughout the US, Venezuela, Japan, the Philippines, and Norway. His paintings are held in numerous private collections as well as in the collections of the Asian American Art Centre in New York, the Nevada Museum of Art, the Triton Museum of Art in California, and the Crocker Art Museum, also in California. His work was included in the International Arts & Artists traveling exhibition, Infinite Mirror: Images of American Identity, which opened at Syracuse University in New York in 2011 and traveled to museums and universities throughout the Eastern United States. Fortes has received grants from the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission and a Visual Artist Fellowship from the California Arts Council. In 2004, John was awarded a prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant. In 2018, John was a resident at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE.


“Ever since I decided to pursue art as a career, I’ve always been curious about who I was as an artist and my connection to the work. It wasn’t until I began painting about my father’s struggle with Alzheimer's and using my Filipino background as a source to inform my art that I realized I was on this mysterious journey of self discovery.”


  • Angry Tears, 2018, acrylic, pencil, ink, oilstick, enamel pen and collage on canvas, 48 x 38 inches

  • Untitled, 2018, acrylic, pencil, glitter, sticker, oilstick, enamel pen and collage on canvas mounted on panel, 13 x 11 inches

  • Watch Your Step, 2017, acrylic, enamel pen and collage on canvas mounted to panel, 15 x 12 inches

  • Cry Me a River, 2017, acrylic, pencil, glitter and enamel pen on canvas, 84 x 72 inches

All works are copyright of the artist or artist’s estate.