“Based in San Francisco and trained as a painter, Bankston began to use the visual structures of children’s coloring books in the early 2000s to create fantastical stories exploring personal identities and inner worlds. Coloring books—whose bold black outlines of storybook characters, animals, etc. are commonly intended for eager children to color in as a participatory activity—offered him a visual trope from which to create imaginary landscapes and characters.
John Bankston is first and foremost an artist, neither an illustrator nor health communicator. Yet, Bankston’s instructive parable Magic Handwashing very much falls in the tradition of the best of public health storytelling. Once again, Bankston has created an imaginary world called the Rainbow Forest. His protagonist, Donkey Boy, finds himself in a dilemma when his hands are turned into claws after immersing them into a glowing puddle. Only through the help of many fantastical friends does Donkey Boy restore his hands when he learns how to wash his hands properly. His story is meant to create visual permanent memories to be recalled during our daily handwashing rituals.
Represented by fine art galleries throughout the U.S. including New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, her works are in private and corporate collections nationally and globally.”
Artist represented by Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco
John Bankston (Benton Harbor, MI , 1963 - )