William H. Johnson

17 07 2015

William Henry Johnson (March 18, 1901–January 1, 1970) was an African-American painter born in Florence, South Carolina. He became a student at the National Academy of Design in New York.[1] His style evolved from realism to expressionism to a powerful folk style for which he is best known.

Johnson was born March 18, 1901 in Florence, South Carolina, to Henry Johnson and Alice Smoot.[2] He attended the first public school in Florence, the all-black Wilson School on Athens Street. One of his teachers, Louise Fordham Holmes, included art in her curriculum. Johnson also copied the comic strips in the newspapers.[3]

He moved from Florence, South Carolina, to New York City at the age of 17. Working a variety of jobs, he saved enough money to pay for classes at the prestigious National Academy of Design.[4] He worked with the painter Charles Webster Hawthorne, who raised funds that allowed Johnson to go abroad to study.[2]

He spent the late 1920s in France, where he learned about modernism.[5] During this time, he met the Danish textile artist Holcha Krake in Cagnes-sur-Me. In 1941, Johnson held a solo exhibition at Alma Reed Galleries.[2] However, although he enjoyed a degree of success as an artist during the 1940s and 1950s, he was never able to achieve financial stability. In 1942 a fire destroyed his studio, his artwork and his supplies.[2] In 1944 his wife Holcha died from breast cancer. To deal with his grief, he took work in a Navy Yard, and in 1946 left for Denmark to be with his wife’s family. Johnson soon fell ill himself, from the effects of advanced syphilis. He returned to New York in 1947 to enter the Central Islip State Hospital on Long Island, where he was treated for syphilis-induced paresis.[9] He spent the last twenty-three years of his life there.[4] He stopped painting in 1956[10] and died on January 1, 1970.


Lonely desires of mothers and daughters 1

17 07 2015

I created a bunch of illustrations that I assembled thinking to write a series of stories to go with them. Kind of ass backwards. But I never wrote the stories. Instead I worked on a novel called The Invisible Man, which sits in some file to this day. I have forgotten several manuscripts that I wrote. Some were lost forever in a flood that swept the west end of Toronto. Is it a tragedy? The burning the library of Alexandria by Christians around 390 A.D. was a tragedy. (It has been suggested that if those books had survived and been distributed into Europe, we might have landed on the moon by the year 1000 A.D.)

mothers&daughters150-500jpg3 mothers&daughters150-500jpg4 mothers&daughters150-500jpg5 mothers&daughters150-500jpg6

Vivi-Mari Carpelan

17 07 2015

Vivi-Mari Carpelan is a Finnish artist now resident in Wales, United Kingdom. Her artistic practice targets the survival of the authentic self when immersed in the overpowering shadows of the collective consciousness, as well as times of liminality and transition.

The value of emotional and subjective truth is opposed to the relentlessly objective and overly sanitised stance of a society bent on devaluing the non-conforming outsider’s individualised needs. Her practice includes collage/mixed media, photography, film and sound art. She appropriates found materials from the collective domain, turning them into highly subjective expressions of an escapology based on courage and determination.

Her artistic expression runs parallel with the experience of imprisonment in an imperfect body in an imbalanced world. Through a process often marked by physical and emotional deconstruction followed by reconstruction, she attempts to bring attention to imperfection, decay and vulnerability. She is thereby suggesting that these are inevitable and even necessary aspects of life that complement the glossiness of technological evolution. She feels that it’s necessary to observe and understand the interplay of the dichotomies in order to solve personal and collective dilemmas regarding human dignity and the intrinsic, unquestionable value of the individual experience.

A little verbose… visual artists often let their Roget’s get away from them.

Gentle Persuasion

stuck in east Texas, 2035

17 07 2015

Stuck in East Texas, 2035by David Halliday