A consummate draughtsman, John Bokor gains equal pleasure from the expressive potential of paint, which he explores in the still lifes and landscapes for which he is best known. Eschewing representation for its own sake, Bokor prefers to let the painting process guide his work. Though his subjects are reassuringly familiar, his canvases captivate as much for their jewel-like colours and gestural mark making.
In 2007, Bokor moved to Bulli, a northern suburb of Wollongong on the south coast of New South Wales where he paints the city’s bustling streetscapes and verdant surrounds. The region has inspired some of his most successful artworks, including Quiet Street, Bulli 2012, awarded the NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize in 2012.
An admirer of the French post-Impressionist Pierre Bonnard (1867–1947), renowned for his paintings of domestic life, Bokor finds an endless store of imagery in the serendipitous accumulation of objects in and around his home. As he has explained, ‘It is the shared experience of the human condition that I try to invest in my work and what I admire most in the works of others.’ His skills as a still life painter were recognised in 2013 when he won the Eutick Memorial Still Life Award at the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery. The Gallery held a survey of Bokor’s work in 2015 and have selected him as a finalist in their acquisitive art prize Still: National Still Life Award 2019.
He has held over 20 solo exhibitions in both commercial and regional galleries across Australia. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including the Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2019, “Baked Goods” at the University City Arts League in Philadelphia in the USA in 2016, “Planting Dreams” at the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney in 2016 and “Still Life” at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2013.
In 2016 he won the drawing section of the Muswellbrook Art Prize and was awarded the Kings School Art Prize. That year he was also the inaugural artist in residence at the State Library of New South Wales.
Bokor’s work is held in many public and private collections including the Art Gallery of Ballarat, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Australia Club, the State Library of New South Wales, Maitland Regional Gallery, Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, Muswellbrook Regional Gallery, Macquarie Bank, UBS Warburg, the Kings School Art Collection, NSW Parliament Art Collection and several university collections around Australia.