Week 3 – Artist Conversation – Juliet Johnson

Exhibition Information

Artist: Juliet Johnson
Exhibition: i thought i saw a windmill 
Media: Sculpture, Video, Writing and Objects
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Max L. Gatov Gallery East
Website/Instagram: N/A

About the Artist

Johnson is a part of the BFA sculpture program at CSULB. She is graduating next year and hopes to attend an art program at a graduate school. Johnson was into drawing and painting for awhile, however, she decided to make the transition into sculpture because she found drawing and painting to be limiting. Johnson believes that sculptures hold more meaning and that they are in the world and can play a vital part in our everyday lives. Johnson gets her inspiration for her art pieces out of no where. She works intuitively, so if she has an idea all of a sudden, she will just go and start creating the art piece. For example, the art pieces in that were on display in the gallery on Wednesday took her week to do.

Analysis

Johnson’s art is mostly through using photograph media. She has display, through a projector, what seems to be bushes and a chimney with fire. These two photos are displayed so that a bit of the chimney is a part of the bushes photo and vice versa. Johnson also displays a man jumping with a happy expression on his face, however, the frame around him is broken. Furthermore, in the photo she left a piece of missing in which she inserts an orange square. The piece missing from the photograph is not a straight and perfect square missing, but it is slanted. Next to the photograph of the man she has words written in pink. The words are not projected straight onto one side of a wall, but they are slanted and take up parts of two different walls. Johnson does not capitalize any of the words that are at the beginning of the sentence. In addition to displaying the art pieces, Johnson also has music playing.

From my conversation with Johnson, I thought she was a very peaceful person who could not be bothered. From her artwork, I got the same feeling. I felt that her artwork was very peaceful, especially with the melody playing in the room. I also felt that the video she had playing was also very peaceful. The color scheme that she chose really suited with a tranquil and calm feeling. Johnson said that she preferred to work with sculptures because they offer a more deep meaning than drawing and painting and that they are so present in the world. I felt that all of artwork was very deep and portrayed some sort of meaning to them. In regards to her art with the broken frame and the happy man jumping, I think she was trying to say that even though we might be happy there will always a bit of us worrying about something whether its our future or something else.

I thought Johnson’s art was very different, which was why I was so hooked into her art work and really wanted to talk to her. Johnson’s art makes me feel that I could get into something like she is doing, since it is not your traditional drawing and painting kind of art pieces. Furthermore, the music sounds that Johnson had playing was very upbeat but peaceful at the same time and reminded me of people working out in the fields, growing crops. I felt that the music she chose to play was very fitting for the type of art that she had on display. I felt the music really resonated with the photograph of the jumping man. I think her music really resonates with me in that I try to be a happy person. I try to not let the worries of life get to me, but to move on and ‘jump with joy.’ Furthermore, Johnson’s chimney and fire photo also resonated with me in that I find it peaceful in the winter to sit in front of the chimney in my house with the fire on and enjoy the life that I have, to be grateful for all the things in my life. I find that just hearing the fire cracking really calms me down and eases all of my worries in regards to my academic life.

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