by Ariadna Zierold
Aaron Johnson has created two distinctive and wildly innovative approaches to painting: his well-known “reverse-painted acrylic polymer-peel” paintings and his sock paintings. The two bodies of work exist in counterpoint; meticulously layered Indian-miniaturesque details in his reverse-paintings starkly juxtapose the swashbuckling brushstrokes created by a clunky impasto of flung socks in his sock paintings.
Uniting his two modes of work is Johnsonʼs inimitable style, a painterly madness flowing forward from his influences of Goya, Peter Saul, Picasso, Ensor, Llyn Foulkes, and the Hairy Who. Johnson’s paintings are a delight of a seductive surface, garish color, and entangled flesh.
“In my paintings, I construct absurdist allegories featuring comic grotesque characters. Technically I believe in an experimental approach to painting that evolves the historical medium into a contemporary adaptation. I have developed two main modes of making paintings: reverse-painted acrylic polymer-peel paintings and sock paintings. The methods involve reverse-painting, meticulously detailed layers, and polymer peel transfer; or the opposite: building up a chunky impasto of old socks. My spectrum of interests ranges from socio-political critique on one end to existential human questions on the other; each individual painting will fall somewhere between those two poles.” Aaron Johnson