"Life is about edge. Edge defines life. It is the difference between right and wrong. Type and Anti-type.” - John Robert Siberell
Since early childhood, John Robert Siberell, a Des Moines native, has channeled his creative gifts into many forms. Early on, he experimented with color and shape and his interest in art and design grew. Majoring in Landscape Architecture at Iowa State University, he found both a vocation and application for his artistic talents. John often said “that I earned my degree by drawing myself through school” - testimony to his artistic nature and timeless architectural design interests. Further directions moved his creative gifts to design for an architectural firm creating plans for desert regions of the Southwestern, Saudi Arabian government, and Japanese auto industry. His whimsical side then led him to design playground equipment for the fast food industry, uniting form and function for pleasure.
John’s art reflects all of these influences. Architectural forms and patterns are seen in much of his work, creating spatiality, structure, and movement. His pieces are deceptively simple,, once commenting “I’ve taken a pencil to get an image on paper. But once the image is on paper, I only have to add the form, rhythms and color patterns. It’s totally freeing.” He also appreciates the subtle relationship between instrument and surface. “The finish and weight of a paper is just as important as the medium. I try to find the right match.”
From his work in Japan, John’s use of color and metallic media imitates an oriental flair of bold and non-traditional patterns. These patterns re-appear more complex with the intensity of his colors. He often mixes media, using paint sticks, charcoal, or watercolor to add highlights and emphasis. The result is both energetic and purposeful. Siberell’s work is indicative of his many talents and passion for design.