Darien Johnson, Emerging Artist 2011

Layered, 15 in. (38 cm) in height, porcelain, China paint, string, acrylic, Plexiglas, 2011.

CM: Do you want viewers to investigate or try to make literal sense of the imagery you have altered to be unrecognizable on your work? Why or why not?


DJ: My goal is to invoke a sense of curiosity by reorganizing mundanely familiar perceptions into a new context. It is not my intention to create a metaphoric narrative based on the symbolic relationships of these images; therefore it is not my concern that the viewer is able to discern a literal translation.


G.Arch, 5 in. (13 cm) in height, porcelain, China paint, string, acrylic, 2009.

When one draws on a memory, it is pulled into our consciousness, analyzed, and reinterpreted; any alterations we placed on the memory become the new version that is stored. By repeatedly relying on the photograph to store our memories, we replace the true experience with a two-dimensional representation. The photograph itself is not a recent development, but the advent of digital photography has increased the frequency of its use with the Internet allowing for vast distribution of images and information.


I capture images digitally, which are then altered, cut, composed on the computer, and filtered through me and onto the work. Fractions of the original images form a new whole that would otherwise be impossible to perceive. The digital camera and computer have enabled me to create compositions and manipulate perceptions in new ways. Through this process, I present a fragmented distortion of visual experience with the intent of altering the viewer’s perceptual awareness, rather then dictating specific content.

The 2011 Emerging Artists are featured in Ceramics Monthly magazine’s May 2011 issue.
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