Bart Johnson's drawings reflect a complex, intuitive world of imagined figures. As he creates each piece, Johnson builds layers of nuanced shifts of form and space to create a rich vision of life and imagination for viewers to tumble into.

Each richly drawn work evokes a private world: a complex, sometimes chaotic dream-state, grounded in the reality of today. Solitary wanderers, ghosts, voyeurs, zombies and characters of all sorts reflect Johnson's dark sense of humor, current and historical events, television, pop culture and just about anything we might encounter in our own daily journey.

Born in Washington, DC in 1954, Johnson spent his teen years among the collections of that city's major museums. He felt a connection to early American and European painters and their explorations of the human figure, the figure being the focus of his own work as well.

Johnson also acknowledges the impact of his own "Dionysian" coming-of-age experience: attending grade school during the Kennedy assassination, Martin Luther King's murder and the race riots, growing up during American music's movement away from the light mood of the Beatles toward darker times with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. He later lived in Richmond during the Vietnam war, surrounded by anarchy, radical politics, and hallucinogenic drug use.

"I think a lot of what I'm doing now, my sensitivity to current calamity, is affected by that formative period."

Today, Johnson sees a connection between contemporary trends in technology, isolation, and toxins and a widespread fascination with zombies and vampires—American society as "the living dead": dwelling somewhere between the spiritual and natural world.

Bart Johnson studied painting at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received a BFA.
He earned an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, then lived in New York City for the next 18 years, moving west in 2001 and currently living and working in Denver.

Johnson's work is in private collections in the US and Europe, as well as the de Young Museum in San Francisco and Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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