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Studio Sunday: Chris Johanson

A photo of Chris Johanson at work in his studio


Our Studio Sunday artist this week is Chris Johanson. Johanson is based in California and known for his simplified, sketchy street art and painting style. He began his artistic career in his early twenties after moving to San Francisco, where he became a part of a larger group of young street artists.


The above image of Johanson’s studio depicts the space as a long, rather narrow room that has few windows but seems well lit all the same. The lighting is a little warm, probably particularly at night and I wonder if and how that influences Johanson’s colour choices. I like the brick wall that’s painted white on one side. The other side of the studio has a plain gallery-style wall, perfect for displaying finished pieces or works in progress.


Johanson seems to have a lot of work on the go in this image. There are paintings in progress on every side of the room, covering the walls and lined up on the floor. I’m intrigued by the large, coloured jewel shape that’s visible at the very back of the wall – perhaps it’s part of one of the installation works that Johanson is known for. The artist also has a number of tables in the space, each one laden with paints and other supplies. It looks like the artist has the ability to move from painting to painting without dragging a trolley full of paints with him. A studio that offers maximum efficiency!


I know a few artists that use street-art style, and Johanson’s work has a similar feel. The artist’s works are often brightly coloured and incorporate deconstructed or simplified human forms, as well as text in the form of comic-book speech bubbles. 

[image source]

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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