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Aaron Johnson

Aaron Johnson's Artlog Interview

Artist's Biography:
Aaron Johnson is a 36-year-old, mixed-media artist based in Brooklyn, New York, who employs a multi-layered and innovative reverse-painting process.  This unique process layers acrylic paint, a specially-prepared oxidized pigment wash, clear polymer, and collage imbedded together and mounted onto synthetic mesh.  His surrealistic artistic aesthetic is influenced by the dark grotesquery of Goya, the sinuous figures and vibrant color of Asian-Moghul art, and the biomorphic and linear aspects of scientific illustration. 

Johnson was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona in 1997.  In New York City, he attended the prestigious National Academy of Design and the Pratt Institute in 1998 and 1999, respectively, and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from Hunter College in 2005.  Johnson is represented by the Stux Gallery in New York City, New York; Gallery Poulsen in Copenhagen, Denmark; Galleri Brandstrup in Oslo, Norway; and Galeria Mito in Barcelona, Spain. 

He has been reviewed in numerous publications including the New York Times, the Village Voice, Art News, and Kunst International.  Johnson has also been the recipient of several grants including the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, and is the 2012 MacDowell Colony fellow.  Much of Johnson's work is privately owned and can also be found in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, and the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art.
"Works that are visceral, beautiful and flamboyantly timely, which is saying a lot" Roberta Smith, The New York Times

"A tour de force of talent and passion" Valerie Gladstone, Art News

"The horror vacui sensation is akin to Bosch's overpopulated Hell in Johnson's lovely abominations" R.C. Baker, The Village Voice

The Triumph of Death, 2011, acrylic mounted on synthetic knit mesh, 75 x 64 inches