Harris Johnson’s paintings often use “dumb” humor to tackle anxieties. He addresses the individual’s place in the world, as well as the significance (or triviality) of art amidst chaotic, troubling times. American Ramble (2015), painted directly on the wall, is a frenetic stream of consciousness that mixes banal chatter and with darker, angrier thoughts on society and hopelessness. A swirling vortex lies at the center of Black Hole (2015), sucking in color, energy, faded words, and frowning stick figures. This collapse speaks to the constant worry and existential wondering of humanity: how will everything end? How did everything begin? What, possibly, could it all mean?
Harris Johnson (1986, Columbus, OH), lives and works in New York, NY. He received his BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2009, and his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2015. Solo exhibitions of his work have been presented at Rotten Meat Gallery, Cleveland (2013), and Clara Fritsch Gallery, Notre Dame College OH (2012). He has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including at Greenpoint Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (2014); Reinberger Gallery, Cleveland (2012), and the Affordable Art Fair, New York (2012).