John Register

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John Register was born 1939 in New York City, New York and died in 1996 in Malibu, California. Register was American realist painter. Register graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with B.A. in Literature, in 1961. He met his wife Catherine Richards in a photography class at The Pasadena Art Center where he was studying commercial art. John Register and Catherine Richards were married on February 6, 1964. Living in New York, they had three children Peter, Kate and David by 1969, as John Register pursued a career in advertising at McCaffrey and McCall. In 1972 John Register famously stood up from a big client meeting and announced he had "a dentist appointment " never to return to advertising. It was from that moment on that he dedicated himself to painting as a full-time career and passion. The family drove across the country in a 1966 Volvo with two cats and a Doberman, camping along the way. John Register photographed the cities they passed through. John Register said, "I look for offbeat beauty. I don't know what I'm looking for until I find it. There are things so ugly that I can't paint them. Sometimes I get depressed by that city, and by other cities I visit. But I like the patina of things that have been battered by life". John Register's vision of isolated streets, empty coffee shops, long shadows, old hotels, and bus stations "represent a haunting stillness tinged with regret and hope", wrote Barnaby Conrad in John Register Persistent Observer. John Register was born with a genetic kidney disease that he battled heroically until his death in 1996 at the tragically young age of 57. In many of John Register's paintings, one can feel the loneliness of man's existence; especially in the face of sickness and an imminent death.

He was honored with a retrospective of his career in 1999.

Register's work was used, and credited, as the inspiration for the video for "Turn My Head" by the band Live in 1997.

Register's work was also featured in the movie In Her Shoes (2005 film). Director Curtis Hanson liked the "loneliness" that Register's paintings suggested for the feel of the film.


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