James Ming Johnson

Personal Reflections on the American West


My paintings and drawings are about our responses to these mythologies: The feeling of a lonely desert road at night...the way the setting sun refracts over the clouds and through an airplane window...these memories and associated nostalgias spark my interest in personal and collective mythologies.  I am inspired by cinema, music, and history, and my film studies background compels me to think of my paintings as scenes. These scenes are painted with spontaneity and improvisation, and are painted from the heart. Sometimes I create quirky characters to populate familiar or imagined landscapes. Other times I paint about my experience of a place or a person. In both cases, memory and mood play an important role and are deeply related to the mythologies of my source material.


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