DISAPPOINTED PEOPLE HOLDING ON TO GUARDRAILS
Special Opening Reception
Thursday, November 9 • 7-10pm
21 and over, RSVP required**
Click Here To RSVP
**If you are unable to attend the opening reception, the gallery will be open to all ages
from 1pm - 8pm on Friday, November 10 through Sunday, November 12.
No RSVP required for these dates.
Zachary Johnson is pleased to announce a retrospective solo exhibition of paintings and drawings by Zachary Johnson.
The show will feature upwards of 50 original oil paintings from Zachary’s ongoing series of New York at night, DISAPPOINTED PEOPLE HOLDING ON TO GUARDRAILS. Painted almost entirely from memory over the last seven years, these dark and glowing cityscapes show New York as if in a half-forgotten dream: a wonderful, magical, lonely city, at once full of untold promise and faded dreams, lit up with glimmering windows, yet blurred and smeared at the edges, alienating and alive. Or, according to Zachary, “This one is mostly black paint, but there’s some yellow and red paint in it too. This other one is more blue.”
The show will also include his series US WEEKLY, which is 100 drawings of US WEEKLY covers. Zachary’s not exactly sure why he spent several months drawing 100 US WEEKLY magazine covers verbatim, but judging by the quality of some of the drawings, he was probably drunk.
A 9 x 12 foot painting of New York on a canvas drop cloth will hang on one wall. He nailed the unwieldy drop cloth to the kitchen wall in his apartment in order to paint it, much to the annoyance of his girlfriend, and borrowed a neighbor’s clothing iron for a whole day to get the creases out of it, much to the annoyance of his neighbor. When the painting was finished, he beamed and said to nobody in particular, “If you can’t paint well, paint big.”
Zachary will also be unveiling an underground project years in the making: an illustrated Gospel of Luke, and a personal reckoning with American Evangelicalism. Featuring 125 pieces of original art alongside the King James translation, Zachary spent nearly three years painstakingly creating drawings and paintings for each page of text, grappling with and mourning the loss of his childhood faith. The finished book is still unpublished—(an illustrated Gospel drawn by an atheist turns out to be challenging in terms of target demographics)—but several hardbound copies will be available for people to peruse through, if they’re into that sort of thing.
Finally, projected on a repeating loop will be a hand-painted rotoscope animation. The short film takes us on a hypnotic cab ride through the eerie streets of New York at 3 AM, and nothing else really happens. The 5 1/2 minute animation was comprised of 3,454 small oil paintings and took Zachary over eight months to make. One anonymous YouTuber who watched the video commented “Fake!” and then another said, “God, I hope so. Otherwise, what an incredible waste of time.”