Johnny Taylor | Artist’s Statement

The Age of Flight by Johnny Taylor

The Age of Flgiht #29, 2019, 36″x36″, acrylic & screen print on canvas.

My paintings explore the things we look at each day without seeing. Though everything is game imagery-wise, I am drawn to advertising images and glyphs, the visual shorthand of contemporary culture.

Bright colored blocks compose my acrylic and mixed media paintings. I enjoy the look and feel of loose, graffiti-like marks, text, and “noise” against these vividly hued planes. Usually I paint with layers, with each new layer showing a bit of the one beneath, either by transparency, the masking of certain areas, or by a scraping away of recent layers. Often this process yields unexpected colors and forms.

My fine art influences include Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Stuart Davis, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. I’m also influenced by the regional art of my native American South, especially by Southern folk artists’ use of text as both a thematic and decorative element. The Quilts of Gee’s Bend are a key influence. I also draw inspiration from graffiti art, specifically the stylized, single gesture marks of graffiti tagging.

In a sense my paintings are post-modern landscapes- I paint what I see. A painting’s composition may derive from an underpass’s blocky, irregular patchwork of painted-over graffiti. Another piece’s umber and vermillion color scheme may be inspired by a business sign I’ve seen on a street that I travel regularly.