Heidi L. Johnson

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Artist
Email: heppycat13@gmail.com

Artist Bio

I am overwhelmed and delighted with the abundance of information that comes through my computer, the print industry,and media. It does in fact become, for me, a culture of overrun, excess, and saturation that makes me anxious. My work is about this anxiety. Beginning with a template of Dutch Baroque, I’ve had the advantage of the “built in” content of disparate specimens and objects brought together by the then burgeoning trade routes. I see parallels between the new society being made then and our sped up contemporary situation now.

The most recent work came from less of an intellectual place, than a visceral personal reaction to the events of my life as an artist in New York over the past two years. The work is about struggle and eventual defeat within a system against odds that are bigger ,stronger and more unwieldy than one has ever dealt with before. Again, the farcicality of the work is evident. They are about seeing oneself be devoured and are a bit more surreal and removed. To me, it is about a world that is unraveling in unexpected ways, dreamlike in experience. It is as though things and events are oddly out of place. It’s about being overrun in ones environment. There are recognizable objects and places, but the congestion of the spaces with other life is making the spaces almost airless. I began this recent body of work and ideas using dystopic popular literary references that I reposed as a bit more psychedelic than the original tale. I believe this earlier work came out of my desire to make paintings that read as dense literary passages. It was my idea that they should be apprehended all at once, Not linearly, as one would read printed work. This way of thinking came out of a process of making paintings by making lists of words and ideas, then arranging and layering them into paintings.