Dan Johnson graduated in illustration from Liverpool in 1993. He lives in East Sussex with his wife and four children. His work reflects a lifelong fascination with theology, nature and pop culture; the power of images, duality and belief within the human psyche.
Johnson’s work is often multimedia, using collage, painting, screenprint and spray to further emphasise the disparity of the elements he has flung together in often outlandish, but somehow harmonious juxtaposition. Balance is the key, as in life. In colours, textures and placement of details, the aim of his work is to provide pleasure for the eye, while throwing up questions and humorous associations in the mind.
After graduating Johnson spent four years producing club decor for London clubs like Return to the Source under the moniker Manik, where a love for the use of really vibrant colours developed, as well as an interest in the power of images to influence the psychedelic experience of the partygoer. This role of art as a living, breathing, socially integrated entity led directly to the next phase in Johnson’s journey; the legally questionable but artistically righteous world of stencil graffiti, under the name t[error]ist?, a nom de plume he still uses today.
In 2000 he rediscovered a love of screen printing. The use of the screen print and stencil sits well with his uncontrolled painting methods. There is immediacy to all the marks, albeit a very different kind. The instant nature of the mark of a stencil or print belies the process that has gone before, but aesthetically what you see is unlaboured and fresh, and sits in the abstract landscape with, at once, a clash of styles and a balance.
Recently collage has become more of a feature in Johnson’s work, some pieces being exclusively in this medium. The patient and skilled use of a scalpel honed in stencil cutting is put to a new use, and the juxtaposition of disparate imagery given its logical extension.
Dan Johnson has exhibited widely around Sussex and as far afield as Texas, alongside Banksy, Jimmy Cauty and others.