June 8 - July 14, 2018
J. Chris Johnson is a Norman based prolific oil painter. As an artist Johnson is interested in exploring the lives of people around him and creating works of art that recognize and bring into focus that which many people would gloss over or ignore. When Johnson first started painting his works largely consisted of portraiture made of dark colors and painted with lines that showed and highlighted rather than hid any truth and struggle. His paintings now depict objects engulfed in flame and smoke, putting you in the metaphorical position to help it, ignore it or assume someone else is dealing with it. The paintings themselves allow you to view struggle and disaster; eliciting a reaction about how you would handle being confronted with such situations.
The boatscapes in this show bring to mind the idea of not being able to help someone who does not want your help. The water stretching in front of you tossing in an uninviting way as the person with their struggles floats away, forgetting that it is easier to deal with these situations when you have people by your side.
The artistry of the paintings makes dealing with these questions easier, the colors are vibrant and inviting, the content pleasing to the eye. The viewer in these cases can see what they choose to see, as in life. You may choose to see either a series of paintings of a boat and landscapes, or the dialogue of an ongoing interpersonal strife. Or as Brody so ingeniously said “It’s only an Island if you’re looking it from the water.”
J. Chris Johnson’s exhibition will open with an opening reception from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, June 8, 2018 as a part of the 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk and be celebrated with a closing reception the following month from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, July 13, 2018. He will share the main gallery space with Marissa Raglin, while John Shaefer will show works in The Library Gallery.
MAINSITE Contemporary Art — located at 122 E. Main Street in the Walker Arts District of Downtown Norman, OK — is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. All receptions and gallery hours are free and open to the public.