Heidi Johnson’s paintings are about seeing oneself be devoured happily by everything happening at once, in real time, in cyber space, and in one’s interior emotional space. The work is a reaction to an urban life that is both surreal and removed. Her desire is to make paintings that read as dense literary passages and are apprehended all at once, not linearly, as one would read printed work. She began this recent body of work with the ideas of cataloging symbolic visual lists contained in Dutch Still Life that she reposed as a bit more psychedelic, much like one’s contemporary emotional experience. Her paintings have the traditional and acknowledged figurative quality, but she flattens and expands the space all while interweaving the associative meanings and content throughout the two-dimensional plane.
About the Artist
Heidi Johnson was born in Providence, R.I. and attended Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. A very large influence in her work has been the temporality and space organization of both Dutch still life, Tibetan Thankga paintings, and the literary space of novelists Jose Saramago and Antonio Lobo Antunes. She currently lives and works in the Mott Haven area of the Bronx. You can find more of her work at her website here.