The Artwork of Perry Johnson~ The Realist


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In the Falany Performing Arts Center (FPAC), Perry Johnson’s painting are up for display.  Perry Johnson is an artisit from SW Virginia. According to his bio, he was trained by a ” maverick southern artist named Tedd Blevins. Johnson acquired his BFA from Virginia Intermont College in 1998 and his MFA from E. Tennessee State University in 2006.

His artwork has been displayed at the William King Art center, the Reece Museum on the campus of ETSU, Appalachian Arts Center and now FPAC at Reinhardt University. Johnson currently teaches painting at Tennessee Technical Institute in Cookville, Tennessee.

The collection that is shown at the FPAC is a representation of his  twelve years of work.  his 2004-2014 pieces are displayed in the main lobby. They are a representation of people in the midst of difficult relationships.

Consumption of a Virgin is the name of the above piece. This picture looks like it tells a million stories. When I look at it, I believe that the woman is in an unhappy, possibly abusive marriage. They look like they are in a mattress store and the husband appears to be in charge and presents his relationship as happy. He holds his wife’s hand but the wife is turned around to face us and we can see her true expressions. The lady in the picture may be a virgin and she is unhappy about her decision to be with the man ( hence the name). Johnson has numerous pieces like this but the stories differ and the paintings may possibly be open for interpretation.

This painting by Perry Johnson tells a deep story. A woman and three men are carrying an unconscious man. He could have had too many drinks or worse.. he could be deceased. The subjects demeanor is sad and the painting is extremely dark.

Other paintings by Johnson that were showed in FPAC were subjects from the 19th century. He didn’t just paint random people, each person had a story. Johnson used  egg tempura paint ( paint made from finely ground, dry pigments, egg yolk, and water) in these pieces.  The above painting is probably about a 19th century couple that may be sad about economic or marital problems. I infer that the man and woman are married because even though they are separated, I know they are connected because of the metal line. The man looks grieved and the woman looks depressed.

This piece is literal but there is a meaning because all of Johnson’s paintings tell stories. The objects in this painting are realistic but why are they put together? It probably alludes to Van Gough or The Scream. It could possibly be a symbolism of our society today.

Perry Johnson’s pieces are figurative and realistic. The paintings are overflowing with emotion and tells a novels worth of stories. His paintings makes me realize that there is beauty in the struggle. There were a total of ten pieces but I focused one the ones that stood out to me the most.These pieces will be in FPAC through October for all to enjoy.


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