Art Are Aaron Johnson’s colour painting reality or fantasy?

Are Aaron Johnson’s colour painting reality or fantasy?

Tommaso Berra
Aaron Johnson |

Spot painting is the medium through which artist Aaron Johnson expresses his personal idea of balance, which is both control and lack of control. In his paintings, control is expressed in the calculated choice of colour palettes and in the prediction with which colours will clash to form abstract portraits. The absence of control is linked to the choice not to spread the dyes with controllable tools but to allow another conductor, such as water, to make the stains dilate with each other, going on to form the work as a whole over time.

Aaron Johnson’s portraits and compositions of characters are psychedelic, reminiscent of the world of hallucinations or fantastic figures. The use of bright colours is reminiscent of the tie-dye technique, while the symmetry of the random shapes makes everything look like a big Rorschach test. The patches of colour are anthropomorphised by the artist by inserting few details but which position the patches in the world of portraiture.
The eyes look straight at the viewer and multiply, the characters look like ghosts imagined by Miyazaki, the large toothy smiles almost instil fear, a way for Johnson to emphasise the perception of otherworldly forms, to be looked at with amusement and distrust.

Written by Tommaso Berra
Listen on