Todd Johnson is in the Pushdot Studio gallery for February and March, starting with an opening reception Friday, February 3, 6-8 pm. His Meditations is a series of pictures about experiencing and celebrating the visual language of photography. The work is focused on abstraction and uses a traditional structure of still life. The pictures are a process of constructing compositions and studying the variations of form and structure. Experimenting with dynamic color and the shading of light, the images play out on traditional geometric shapes and an eccentric collection of objects. The space is a dynamic field for observing the magic and illusion of photographic possibility.
The work is inspired by artistic practices such as panning and sculpture, design and architecture, fashion and commercial photography. The creativity and inspiration when looking at other artistic mediums has always been an important foundation for Johnson’s thinking about photography and creating an open system of ideas and aesthetics. Other influences come from the history of avant-garde art, such as Futurism and Surrealism, Modernism and Minimalism.
The philosophy of Meditations is a concept of going deeper into creativity and spiritual ritual. Artistic practice is a form of meditation and spiritual ritual, that gives structure and form to the imagination. This process of experiencing a deeper connection to creativity is the challenging path of expanding ideas into a visual form. And that material object or form (painting, sculpture, photography) is the reality/subjectivity of a highly focused and enlightened artistic experience. Art offers Johnson an important opportunity to connect and participate in culture and history/future.
Johnson is a conceptual and experimental photographer living and working in Portland. He received his Masters in Fine Arts in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute and is the founder and director of Black Box Gallery.
Pushdot Studio is located in the Ford Building, 2502 SE 11th Ave (use entrance on Division St.). Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5 pm; free admission.