“I am interested in the grotesque, the freakish, the abject; especially when paired with beauty, seduction and humour,” says Brooklyn-based artist, Aaron Johnson. His delightfully shocking creations pack a hefty punch, with monstrous characters, garish colours, sex, blood and guts delivering a compelling satire on modern-day society.
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Johnson grew up surrounded by Indian art, a legacy of his mother’s childhood abroad. He studied Biology at the University of Tuscon, Arizona before completing his arts training in New York at the National Academy of Design, the Pratt Institute, and Hunter College, where he was awarded an MFA in 2005.
Johnson’s irreverently inventive narratives are also innovative in terms of technique. Many of his works are created using old socks, and he has developed a multi-step process to overlay paintwork with layers of acrylic polymer, adding depth, luminosity and freshness to his creations.
Since his first group show in 2002, Johnson has exhibited across the USA in galleries and arts institutions such as Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art or the American University Art Museum Katzen Center, Washington DC. His work has also been seen in Denmark, Lebanon, Israel and the UK, and appears in a number of significant public collections including MOMA, New York, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, and the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art.