Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London (UAL), 16 John Islip St, Westminster, London SW1P 4JU, UK
John Banting (12 May 1902 – 30 January 1972) was an English artist and writer.
Born in Chelsea, London on 12 May 1902 and educated at Emanuel School, Banting was initially attracted to vorticism and associated with the Bloomsbury Group, before becoming interested in surrealism in Paris in the 1930s. John Banting studied at Westminster School of Art, although the most important event in his artistic development was a visit to Paris in 1930 where he met leading surrealist artists of the time. Moving to Rye, Sussex in the 1950s he died in Hastings on 30 January 1972 aged 69.
Banting and his lover John (Jim) Davenport were good friends with Edward Burra.
In the 1920s he participated in a hoax by painting works described as by an unknown artist "Bruno Hat", one of which was bought by Lytton Strachey.
A key aspect of his surrealist work was the continual satire of form and formality. His depictions of women were somewhat misogynistic because the titles of his works objectified them and stripped them of their femininity since they drew attention to their articles of clothing, or to their anatomical abnormalities that had sexual overtones. The content of Banting's drawings featured similar social commentary to the bourgeois stereotypes in the Berlin of George Grosz and Otto Dix where they emphasised the absurdities of the bourgeoisie through caricature. They highlighted those aspects of gluttony and overindulgence and juxtaposed them with impoverished characters. Banting's critique addressed false femininity and, when it combined with upper middle class standards within the artificiality of high society and his use of emaciated forms, provided commentary on man's inevitable self-destruction.
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