The Illustration & Design World of Zach Johnsen

Works in progress, up and coming, tidbits and extras. Keep posted here for news and information before it hits my site. To catch up on old news please visit my previous blog.

ACID TESTWednesday, September 21, 2016
I'll be showing new Acid drawings at Cave Gallery next month.. I'll be hanging some of the originals I held onto from my 2013 Acid Suite print series as well as some new drawings in the works.  The new pieces are a continuation of the stuttered, suited figures in graphite with explosive watercolor where once a head was.. This is a serious subject matter presented with pop art sensibility... Here are some flicks of the work coming together..

FOLKLORE BACK STORYMonday, June 13, 2016
June 2nd, saw the opening of FOLKLORE at Hellion Gallery in Portland.  I thought I would share some studio snaps from the last couple months of the artwork coming together..  Anyone interested in seeing the entire collection of art or to inquire about purchasing, visit Hellion Gallery.

I'm super excited to announce my first solo show at Portland's Hellion Gallery in 3 years!

Folklore is a new exhibition of work by Portland based Zach Johnsen exploring the themes of fairy tale and myth. Borrowing from Slavic fable and campfire tales, the work talks of ghosts, the plague, witchcraft, spirits and the clash of good and evil.

Folklore is all new work by Zach in a variety of aesthetic style. In some, you will see a return to form for Zach. Many of the pieces are characters on paper in watercolor and pen and ink, a mainstay of the artists’ work. Other work sees further pushing into the realm of painting. Simultaneously dark and bright, these new paintings start with splashy chaotic acrylic pools on canvas then toned with smoke bomb and spray paint. These ephemeral backgrounds are the rough draft of the piece and inform the direction of the final work. The chaos is tamed by housing select elements from the background within figurative shapes and building up detail and value on top of those figures. The result are playful and energetic paintings of characters both sinister and joyful. The otherworldly characters, surrounded by clusters of bright color bits, swirling patterns, sticks and pixies almost seam to fizzier and crackle off the canvas. Throughout the work of Folklore, the energy is palpable with the explosive nature of Zach’s work as strong as ever.

Folklore opens Thursday, June 2nd at 6pm at Hellion Gallery in Portland, Oregon.
Sponsored by Gigantic Brewing Company