Join artist Devin B. Johnson for a discussion centered on the exploration of his artworks and installations with Art + Practice’s Public Programs and Exhibitions Manager Joshua Oduga on June 22, 2021. Johnson will touch on the history of his artistic practice, including how elements of travel and education have influenced his work. The program is organized as part of A+P’s Spring 2021 Program Series.
Devin B. Johnson is a painter from LA, and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. He received his BA in Fine Arts from the California State University of Channel Islands (2015) and a Masters of Fine Arts at Pratt Institute (2019). He was one of sixteen artists from around the world selected for the inaugural year of the Black Rock Senegal residency, and was featured in the Northeast and MFA issue of New American Paintings (2019).
Devin B. Johnson approaches the canvas like a musician. You hear his work as much as you see it. His rhythm is architectural and expressive with a heavy textural backbeat. He’ll spray plaster on the substrate to pump up the bass through the subsequent layers. The paintings lie in a temporal space of bewilderment and undulation. Paint drips, pools, skips and gets pulled, almost like a time stretch or a paused VCR stills. The paintings are between both a becoming and an undoing. This year facades of buildings even more so remain boarded up and out of business. This type of social boxing out causes Johnson to focus on the peripheral vision. As he walks to his studio or partakes on daily runs, he takes close attention to the surfaces and textures of eroded paint and spray paint skirmishes. In its essence he wanted to respond to that way time has a hold on the landscape around us to which time and memory has no constant. The paintings are mindful of this aspect of time. The surfaces are built up slowly over time. His subjects have been through things by the time they emerge, you can hear it in their voices. Johnson paints from improvised freestyle digital collages sourced from personal and historical imagery arranged into fictonal, sentimental situations. Each portrait and tableau is a love song to these intimate, yet universally relatable experiences. The surreal narratives are a visual, emotional onomatopoeia of individual and inherited memories, a vibrant dream journal of the collective consciousness.
Devin B. Johnson (b. 1992, Los Angeles) obtained his BA in Fine Arts from the California State Channel Islands (2015) and received a Masters of Fine Arts at Pratt Institute (2019). He was one of sixteen artists from around the world selected for the inaugural year of the Black Rock Senegal residency, and was featured in Cultured’s “Young Artists 2021”.