Inspired by both art and science, Eric Johnson creates composite works of pigment, wood and resin that reference a kinship with other artists: to the sensuality of Brancusi, the architectural vigor of Bontecue, and the works of DeLap. The handcrafted abstract works are sheathed in resin skins, often revealing glimpses of skeletal armatures and hidden architectures. In reflection, Johnson’s structural forms are influenced by a severe neck injury and dealing with intense spinal pain. Other influences have been the aerospace industry and ancestral boat builder heritage. Initially the constructs hid their “bones” under a “skin”, time capsule artifacts within. Over the past twelve years, the structures have become organic and revealing to their formation. The current work merges the passion for depth and structure with an obsession for color and surface.
Johnson has spent decades working with polyester resin. Like many artists of his generation, Johnson embraced the hot-rod culture of Southern California. He has made customized car bodies for the Porsche 962 and has lovingly overhauled vintage cars-as evidence by the two toned 1939 Chevrolet panel truck and fire engine red 1934 Ford pickup that sit to one side of his studio. As often was the case for many artists working in the 1970s, industrial products found their way into Johnson’s early studio practice and have remained there ever since. “I’ve translated all that automotive knowledge into making my artwork”,” he says. “I use the full array of auto tools and pigments.”