The HUB director drew the piece, titled “Eat a Peach,” by hand using only two colors. He then digitally manipulated the picture before employing a photo laser engraved intaglio plate to put the print to paper.
“I am interested in many processes to achieve different surfaces within my work. I like the eyes to feast upon various layers, textures and patterns in a work of art,” Johnson said.
This print is part of a series of prints he made inspired by his father’s album collection. This piece draws inspiration as well from his mother, who was a truck driver.
“As a child, I used to spend hours sitting and gazing at these psychedelic images both in awe and in fear of what I discovered in those images,” he said. “The Allman Brothers Band ‘Eat A Peach’ was one of my favorites, along with Elton John’s ‘Captain Fantastic.’ They were like a sort of early Where’s Waldo for the bizarre. I never listened to the music. It was the images that stuck with me. The fold-out image for ‘Eat A Peach’ represented both my father and my mother. My father grew peaches on his 100-acre fruit farm, and my mother drove the type of truck I chose to depict in my version of it.”
The exhibit, organized by the Helis Foundation, features 39 artists and will be on display through Oct. 10.
“As a child, I always thought that one day I could see my artwork hanging in a museum, so this is truly an honor to me,” Johnson said. “The Ogden Museum of Southern Art is a special place because most of the work there is a collection of history and folklore with a personal and visionary aesthetic similar to my own.”
Located in the vibrant Warehouse Arts District of downtown New Orleans since 1999, the Ogden Museum attracts 85,000 visitors every year to experience and learn about the artists and art movements of the American South. It is home to a collection of over four thousand works, making it the largest and most comprehensive repository dedicated to Southern art in the nation. The Museum is further recognized for its original exhibitions, public events and educational programs.
For more information on the HUB, a Makerspace at Nicholls State University, visit nicholls.edu/thehub.