• Aaron Johnson

    Date posted: February 15, 2011 Author: jolanta
    Aaron Johnson’s reverse-painted acrylic-polymer-peel paintings inhabit the realms between the erotic-catastrophic/ecstatic-psychotic/comic-tragic, fusing diverse vocabularies into his own distinctive breed of Americana-grotesque, all rendered obsessively with tender brutality. Johnson’s painted universe overflows with Romantic beauty and sexual violence twisted into demonic tales of a world gone berzerk, monstrous musings on the absurdity of war and religion, and a gooey biomorphic dialogue with the Old Masters and pop culture.

    Aaron Johnson- VOLTA NY Artist

    Aaron Johnson, Bleeding Heart, 2010. Acrylic on polyester knit mesh, tondo, 58 inches. Courtesy of VOLTA NY.

    Aaron Johnson’s reverse-painted acrylic-polymer-peel paintings inhabit the realms between the erotic-catastrophic/ecstatic-psychotic/comic-tragic, fusing diverse vocabularies into his own distinctive breed of Americana-grotesque, all rendered obsessively with tender brutality. Johnson’s painted universe overflows with Romantic beauty and sexual violence twisted into demonic tales of a world gone berzerk, monstrous musings on the absurdity of war and religion, and a gooey biomorphic dialogue with the Old Masters and pop culture. Johnson is fearless about diving into the psychological deep end to submit himself to the exposure and loss of self in the work, while directly engaging the viewer’s gaze in seduction and repulsion. He digs down into the primal “dream work” to reveal images of the psyche’s struggle with the body, sex, desire, death and mortality. We could call him a post-irony Romantic: his works are unrestrained and exuberant. Johnson continually creates surprising and unpredictable images that haunt us with recognitions and wonder.

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