Chris Johanson, ‘Yes Today Today Yes’, 2010, ICI Annual Benefit & Auction 2016

Chris Johanson’s approach to painting and sculpture is akin to a meditative practice. The free-flow of his work harkens back to his involvement with San Francisco’s Mission School as well as his early skate and punk-rock days in the 1980s and ‘90s. His subjects seamlessly weave between figuration and abstraction with an honest, critical and thoughtful social-awareness. Yes Today Today Yes is exemplary of Johanson’s directness in his visual language. Seven figures each raise an arm towards the sky, saluting an unknown celestial entity, grounded on a hovering plane, a floating plot of earth. While the embodiment of an otherworldly optimism, these figures are undeniable present. Neither promise nor premonition, Johanson’s imagery asks us to take today in the affirmative, and say yes to an open future.

Chris Johanson is represented by Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York.


Mitchell-Innes & Nash, NY
Artist's Studio

About Chris Johanson

Chris Johanson’s wildly colorful artistic productions are musings on phenomena in contemporary life—including the psychological perils of consumerism, cult spirituality, and self-help. Johanson’s career stems from his early activities in the Northern California punk scene, in which he produced ephemera, posters, and zines. Johanson’s oeuvre now includes paintings, drawings, installation, and sculpture. His early style was characterized by its raw humor, cartoon-like aesthetic, and incorporation of reclaimed materials, like wood and paper from dumpsters and construction sites. In later works, Johanson has used more simplified forms, abstract forms and conceptual themes.

American, b. 1968, San Jose, California, based in Los Angeles, California