“Mission School” Artist Chris Johanson Captures California’s Singular Ethos
Chris Johanson in the Paulson Bott Press studio 2014. Courtesy of Paulson Bott Press.
The lo-fi spirit of Paulson Bott Press, continues to emit the mellow aura and ground-up ethos of these origins.
Johanson began making zines, painting skateboards, and designing concert posters amongst the
In this new crop of aquatint prints—an
They resonate West Coast warmth, while their letters, shapes, and figures remain a little rough around the edges. Johanson’s style has been described as “abstract positivity,” and though they emit good vibes, it’s not all sunshine. New York Times art critic Ken Johnson notes that Johanson and his peers were born “during or just after the euphoric peak of the hippie counterculture and at the start of a darker, less hopeful time.”
It’s as though Johanson wants to believe in the positive energy his paintings are charged with, but is caught between the will to retain a state of youthful wonder and the need for a critical eye on humanity. BEING IN MY LIFE (2014) makes a comment on the self-absorption of modern life, with a book on the shelf titled Selfish Living. In ABSTRACT ART WITH COSMIC NARRATIVE (2014) the unknown of a textured black sky borders a sea whose geometric blocks of blue recall the pureness of color and form in
A Vintage Touch
Millenary Frosted Gold and Opal Dial
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