We’ve spoken at length about the PULSE Art Fair this year (including yesterday’s “best of art” post, where the show was mentioned) as it really did introduce us to a lot of new artists. One of our favorites was Markus Linnenbrink’s “color drips” paintings (among other works), where Linnenbrink used colored epoxy to create works. The colors leak off of the canvas and cause perpetual stress since they look like they are going to spill into puddles at any second. Dion Johnson has a very similar aesthetic; however, his work is more stress free as the colors melt into each other (instead of on your feet).
Johnson is a Los Angeles based artist working with Western Project. His works are acrylic on canvas and–while the Linnenbrick comparison exists–they are completely contrasting artists whose work evoke two different things. Johnson’s work is about the interplay of color and, even though not epoxy, allow for colors to enjoy each other and/or melt into each other. Using acrylic paints is also very important in this process as the paint is both incredibly viscous while being incredibly faint in application. As you can see, this is important because the paint allows itself to be transparent and malleable.
Aside from technicalities, Johnson’s work are a great size, all of them crossing over the sixty inch point in width or height at some point. They are like scaled down Morris Louis paintings–but, this Louis is a little high on paint fumes and using bright colors and rejecting negative space. Moreover, the release for this summer’s past showcase of his work states, his work reflects a (unique) pop-iness and entertainment value that is not thought of until you really think about it. Does this work reflect anything you’ve seen on television? Maybe not. But, what about this? Yes. That’s another element to his paintings.
Be on the lookout for this local artist and for new things he has happening by way of Western Projects. His pieces are incredibly intricate, bright, and do a lot of work. Johnson will definitely make you reconsider how colors can melt into each other.