Posted by Gregory Johnson on

I came across a feed on Twitter which featured a middle ages know what I mean. Almost cartoon-like with no sense of perspective or human anatomy. Someone made a comment about "weak technique". Ugh. One of those. This is a perfect example of what drives me nuts about the contemporary art world. Another down your nose smug comment about technique. The writer was probably a professional artist and/or critic with an art degree stuffed up his ass. My question is this: Is it possible, oh Great One, that the technique of that painter was intentional? And if not, why do I still think it beautiful?

The fact of the matter is that it WAS intentional. Picasso before a matter of fact, it inspired ol' Pablo, and many post-expressionists. When you keep this in mind when viewing paintings of this sort, they take on a whole new meaning. They are fascinating, very two-dimensional with no shadowing, and whether many contemporary artists realize it or not, that technique is reflected in many of their own works. I see it all over the place these days: eyes looking one way, heads positioned the other way, arms bending like rubber bands, and so on. A lot of my own work is that way.

So what about technique? I personally struggle with this all the time. I have no defining "style" in my work; actually maybe five or six styles. The only constant, more or less, is the use of felt-tip markers almost exclusively. As for technique, the accepted notion is that there are seven: line, color, shape, form, value, space, and texture. (I got this from Google-I haven't really thought about it for a while, hence this blog). I almost always address these when working, but purely instinctively after all these years.

The big problem I face with my work is the fact that you could look at six of my drawings and not realize that they're done by the same person. (See the attached drawings of two works of mine relating to Jung's archetypes). If I surrendered to this notion, then I would have to confine my work to one style, which would bore me into oblivion. Now Picasso had several periods of different techniques until he settled upon cubism, but not all at once!

Strangely, I don't really care. This is kind of dumb from one viewpoint. When my work becomes wildly successful, no one will be able to absolutely identify it as a "Gregory Johnson". (Yes my tongue is firmly in my cheek). On the other hand, to be completely honest, and why not, I'm having an absolute blast creating this stuff, so if my work actually does become wildly successful, my technique will be that I didn't have one. Maybe one day, some know-it-all will comment that my technique was weak.

I would be honored.


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