Chris Johanson

I discovered Johanson in ‘Vitamin D’ and was interested in his use of colour, blunt and entertaining text with childlike figures and diagrams. This artist didn’t have any formal education in art but started off painting skateboard and walls – always used to his work being judged by someone. He went on to belong to a movement names the ‘Mission School’ – The boho quarter of San Franscisco who were strongly influenced by mural, graffiti art as well as comic and cartoon art.

Martin Herbet comments on Johanson: ‘Drawing allows him hit-and-run speediness – and clearly more concerned with uncorking a flow of interrelated images than with an intermittent spluttering of masterpieces.’ – I love this explanation of the artist, who, similar to my practice, would rather get his ideas and thoughts across to an audience quickly and clearly than create painstakingly detailed interpretations of things.

Johanson says ‘I am for an art that embroils itself with the everyday crap and still comes out on top’. His work could be escribes as ‘Documentary Painting’ and plays with ideas of society and pessimism, the grind of daily life.

Displayed in Vitamin D:

Untitled (I’m Totally Cool), 2002, acrylic on paper.
Venn Diagram, 2001, Acrylic and latex house paint on paper.

Discovered online:


Untitled, (Special New Information), 2000
07 Chris Johanson _ Untitled _ 2002
Laying Down People In Vitrine, 2002.

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