This week Johan sent us his latest gallery painting, “we find clues along the way”.
It’s a tapestry of life overflowing with Johan’s playful imagination and curiosity. The painting benefits from Johan’s signature style of weaving together various textures, materials, text, characters and oddities leaving no corner of the board untouched by his mind. The characters of all shapes and sizes suggest various cultures from out of this world. They seem to have come from far and wide to join in this search for clues.
But clues to what?
The painting is full of so much mystery. Where have all these characters come from? What are they looking for? Where are they now? There are no answers in Johan’s pantings only clues. Clues more accurately described as “cues”. Cues to the viewers’ imagination. Stimuli that sparks stories in the mind of anyone who lays eyes on the painting.
What we love most in this painting is not only does it depict ten wonderful characters on a journey of discovery but that when you compare the pencil with the final painting you can see in the process that Johan enjoyed his own personal journey as much as his gaggle of odd characters seem to be. Contributing to the image every step of the way.
From the initial sketch to the final painting Johan introduces us to more and more imaginary friends that spill out of his mind. From five in the initial sketch to ten in the final painting.
In the back left of frame, two of his characters seemingly meet a little blue mouse for the first time. Perhaps offering directions to the little lost rodent?
In the top left corner a branch hangs from nowhere. A nice touch that has the effect of perching the viewer in the first person perspective, perhaps placing us on one of those odd islands just out of frame.
Even the breaking of the border on the right hand side of the picture reinforces that these characters are going somewhere. On a journey. A journey finding clues along the way.