My pop-tacular illustration is featured in the December issue of Give Us This Day, a user-friendly prayer magazine geared toward modern Catholics. I’m in good company here, as one of the people involved with the magazine is Fr. James Martin, a fierce advocate for LGBT Catholics.
I periodically update my Artist’s Statement and Bio to reflect what I am working on. I just made some changes yesterday, so this is the perfect time for me to reintroduce myself!
Artist’s Statement – I have a holistic approach to art, seeing no distinction between high and low, or between sacred and secular. My influences range from Jack Kirby and Filmation Studios to Andy Warhol and Fra Angelico. Whatever is bold and exciting catches my eye. Using acrylic paint or cutout and collage, I manufacture pure pop pleasure. I continue to feel the pull of a childhood devoted in equal parts to the Bible and Marvel Comics.
Bio – Dean Johnson developed his pop art brand at Columbia College Chicago, where he studied under Corey Postiglione, Carol Halliday-McQueen, and Louise LeBourgeois. For over 10 years he served and inspired his community by organizing group art shows, workshops, and a neighborhood art walk. Dean’s work has appeared in the Alumni on 5 exhibit and at Navy Pier. Dean’s commissions include numerous portrait paintings, as well as postcard designs and corporate logos.
Lead Organizer for Art on Ashland, the East Village Art Walk, in 2015
Board Member for ChiPRC, the Chicago Publishers Resource Center
Led over 20 art workshops over 2 years; partnered with 5 organizations
Was named Top-Rated Teacher by Dabble for art workshops
Lead Organizer for NIA (Northside Independent Artists) for 3 years
Curated 3 group shows, working with 5 other artists
Most successful show, Chicago Art, sold 65 pieces
Participated in 11 exhibits, including Catholic Charities Gala of the Arts
Designed original logos for companies Athletic Souls and The Souls Journey
Illustrated John Wawrzaszek’s book, Field Manual: Human Body
Generated promo images for CAKE fundraisers, 2012 and 2013
Founding member of Third Thursday Club, which offered monthly figure drawing
Designed postcards for theater companies including TUTA
Designed flyers for rock band Arch Visceral Parlor and DJ Elle Madelyn
In a previous post I wrote about developing a design based on the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Longtime readers of this blog will know that this was not my first attempt at adapting the icons. I have worked with this imagery many times, utilizing a wide range of mediums.
This goes to show that a series doesn’t ever have to be complete. If certain imagery really speaks to an artist, she can return to it again and again over the years. She will find new aspects of the imagery to explore or new ways to present it.
Take some time to browse through my Sacred Heart imagery below, including a brand-new piece at the upper left. Click on the images to see them full-size. Are there any versions that really grab you? Conversely, which pieces do you find less successful?