Copyright Jay Etkin Gallery, 2007 Allrights reserved
Johnny Taylor
Artist's Statement

"Based on the ephemera of modern urban life, my paintings explore the things we look at each day without seeing. Though everything is game imagery-wise, I am drawn to advertising images and glyphs, the visual shorthand of contemporary culture. As a painter, I have as an objective to explore the subtexts and uncover the possibilities of seemingly innocuous marketing imagery. The chief ambition of art, I believe, is to change the way we look at the world around us.

Bright colored blocks compose my acrylic paintings. I enjoy the look and feel of loose, graffiti-like marks, text, and 'noise' against these vividly hued planes. Usually I paint with layers, with each new layer showing a bit of the one beneath, either by transparency, an unpainted 'window' area, or by a scraping away of recent layers. Often this process yields unexpected colors and forms. Similarly, I use corrugated cardboard to apply paint in tightly striped registers, creating texture, space, and still more unintended forms. Played against this pictorial depth are images that are hard edged and, at times, almost aggressively flat. A vibrant tension is produced by the interplay between these forthright, graphic forms and the painterly, almost old world concern for surface qualities.
Aside from an obvious pop art influence, I draw inspiration from graffiti art and improvised music, particularly jazz, dub, and hip hop. It is my aim to combine the lively playing off of what has come before (as in hip hop) with the active courting of the unplanned (as in jazz). In doing so, I am rewarded with dynamic juxtapositions, discovering associations between disparate elements.