John Devaney's love of drawing the figure inspires his paintings of the human parade. His scenes of everyday life teem with an infinite variety of beings - both mythical and familiar, dark and comical.
His earliest work reflects a fascination with the figure underwater, a subject that has expanded beyond human swimmers to animals, mythological scenes, even an underwater operation, a submerged labyrinth, and a Zeus-like bull pursuing a glowing bagel.
The fluidity, distortions, and mystery of water translated into his subsequent cityscapes and landscapes, in which figures, architecture, the land, and sky all interact : the brick walks and cobblestones of a Nantucket street scene surge around the flow of pedestrians; the tourist hordes pour from a ferry landing at the wharf or through the canyons of midtown Manhattan.
He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Regional Fellowship in Painting, Research and Teaching Fellowships at Harvard's Carpenter Center, and artist residencies at Yaddo and MacDowell Artist Colonies.
His work has been exhibited at many museums, including the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, MIT List Visual Art Center, and the Lyman Allan Art Museum, the Newport Art Museum, the Brockton Triennial, the Danforth Museum of Art,Harvard University, a ten-year retrospective at Miami-Dade College, University of California at Irvine, and the Springfield Museum of Art.
Major mural commissions include the 2400 square foot painting for the University of Connecticut's Natatorium and the Water Fountain of Danehy Park, Cambridge. He is a former Faculty member of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Art Institute of Boston; and Carpenter Center, Harvard University.