For 2018-2019, we have resumed our exhibition program in The Office, in which we are presenting works by invited, unrepresented artists in the region. This series of shows will each run for two months and is curated by Disjecta Director Blake Shell.
barry johnson, based in Seattle, WA, is a self-taught, interdisciplinary artist who explores, race, identity and culture through mixed media paintings, sculpture, photography, and performance work. Shifting careers from high tech consulting to art-making in the mid-2010s, he is becoming known for bold, dynamic works that explore identity. johnson notes that "My entire body of work is only meant to say everyone is unique in their own way.” The Office exhibition will primarily feature portraiture, which has recently been a focus of his interests.
barry johnson-Artist Statement
My work is a reflection of events happening around the world related to race, politics, history, and heritage. My work and process have been known to constantly change and I start very early in the morning and fluctuate between media. This nature and process is a metaphor for not only my work as an artist but a statement of who I am as a Black man in the modern world. My works confront viewers with bold, colorful portraits that challenge the relationship between observer and the observed. Omission is one of the key themes in my work. The faces of portraits are often devoid or removed—their expressions unseen—is an allusion to the obfuscation of identity and history of Black Americans. Working entirely in house paint, I’m pushing the limits of acceptance and visibility, and I hope to educate viewers on the sheer beauty and collection of colors that it takes to create melanin.