Born in a taxi on Yoyogi Street in Tokyo, Japan, John Yoyogi Fortes is a Northern California painter based in Sacramento. His paintings are often large scale explorations of self that lean towards a whimsical, dark and obscure world.
Fortes’s paintings have been exhibited in California, Nevada, Chicago, New York, Hawaii, Venezuela, Japan and Norway, and are held in numerous private collections, as well as, the Asian American Art Centre in New York, the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno and the Triton Museum of Art and Crocker Art Museum in California. His work was included in the International Arts & Artists traveling exhibition, “Infinite Mirror; Images of American Identity.” The exhibit opened at Syracuse University in New York 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 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. John was also nominated for the Alliance of Artists Communities, Vision from the New California Project in 2006 and 2007.
Aside from painting, John is a videographer and has collaborated with the California Association of Museums and the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento producing videos of Bay Area artists, Travis Sommerville, Mel Ramos and Austrian artist, Gottfried Helnwein. Currently he is working with the Crocker Art Museum on their Block by Block initiative based on community engagement and various projects with the California Endowment.