TPCAC | P.O. Box 863 | Troy, AL 36081 | (334) 670-2287

Jerry R Johnson: Synthesizing Analog and Digital

West Upstairs Gallery: May 7 through June 20, 2014

After three decades of working in digital art and design, I admittedly surrender to the notion that the computer is more than merely a tool for me—rather, it has become as ubiquitous and life-giving as the air that I breathe. I find it a scornful necessity and not just for solving visual communication problems in advertising or design. For me, digitization has evolved into an environmental and social space from which much of this life actuates—including that of art making. There was a time in my art career when drawn lines were literally graphite and tactile: canvas and illustration board defined boundaries. However, as a contemporary artist and designer, my immersion with pixels and digital screens became fundamental. In spite of this, my romantic and nostalgic affection for dimensionality and tactility has not diminished.

The analog world is 'virtually' full of surprising juxtapositions of light, texture and distress. Ironically, I want the same for the 'virtual' world.

This small selection of digital works reflects two different series. "A Place of Sense" is a virtual exploration of earlier analog drawing that I have created in a surreal fashion. After digitizing these, I created "imaginary" settings and for the original mixed-media drawings. Through the use of digital means, I experimented with all those things that make reality vibrant and exciting—texture, light and distress.

Pictured above is "Sequentially Ravenesque" from the "A Place of Sense" series. Click the image to enlarge the view.

After reading meditations from "The Joyous Exchange" (a book being authored by Troy Professor—Diane Orlofsky), I am reminded once again of the beauty and wonder of surprise at the attempts to orchestrate, compose and direct—to flesh out the ineffable. In collaboration with Dr. Orlofsky and starting with some basic images that hold special meaning to the author, I have attempted to stay true to The Joyous Exchange by concepting, juxtaposing and editing—joyfully connecting disparate elements to achieve some range of believability or not.

Pictured above is part of a series of illuminations from "The Joyous Exchange". This digital piece called "Prelude" can be viewed more closely by clicking on the image above.

These illuminations brought great freedom to me as an artist to arrange compositions (much like a choral conductor) that explore relationships between predictable and unpredictable. Through these digital improvisations, I hope to convey "spontaneity and preparation, inquiry and affirmation, mystery and clarity, spirituality and reality".

Statement provided by artist/designer— Jerry Johnson.