The Wedding Party
Guy Johnson(1927-) is an American artist living in Amsterdam. He was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1927. He started drawing with pencils at a very young age, often inspired by comic books or adventure films. When he was eighteen Johnson enlisted in the Navy during the war, having just received his high school diploma. After serving for fifteen months he returned to Fort Wayne. Johnson moved to Florida with his parents when his father retired, and enrolled in an art school in Sarasota. Feeling that he would not be able to support himself as a painter, and having little interest in graphic design, Johnson decided to teach painting. He studied at Florida State University, where he painted and participated in local shows. In 1953 he married and took a position at Murray State College in Kentucky. He taught for three years and then moved to Texas where he began teaching at Lee College, having his first solo exhibition in 1962 in a small gallery in Houston. In 1963 Johnson took a teaching position at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. His relationship with the Art Department there was less than ideal, so he resigned in 1967. He decided that he would devote himself completely to painting. He participated in several photo-realism shows in the following years, and had his first one man exhibition in New York at the Hundred Acres Gallery. Bo Alveryd offered to purchase all of Johnson's work. Johnson, who was enticed by the possibility of a stable income, took the offer. Johnson sold most of his work in the next two to three years in Denmark and Sweden. Johnson moved to Holland in 1975, and remarried in 1980. He is presently living and working in Holland. His work has been compared to Max Ernst and Rene Magritte. His painting style is generally photographic with introductions of disturbing elements such as a burning building. Through the past 20 years, avoiding the trends of the art world, Johnson has followed his unique way of painting. His work has been called real, surreal, and unreal. It work is marked by incongruity, juxtaposition and anachronism. While his work is often labeled narrative, intellectual or political, it is definitely private, personal and intimate. Johnson's work embodies a sophisticated sense of humor but also imparts an uneasiness due to the juxtaposition of numerous incongruous images. These images demand answers from the mind of the viewer as to the story and its meaning. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Asheville Art Museum, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas.