Johnny Stevens, Austin, Texas Member Since November 2014 Artist Statement firstname.lastname@example.org
I have always been attracted to the abstract. Salvador Dali has been one of my favorite artists, and I sometimes wonder if I observe life more like his surreal representations than what most people see through the lens of a camera. Constantly surveying my surroundings, I hunt for a chance to reveal the obscure – to reveal unique perspectives of ordinary images that are normally overlooked.
I have also always harbored the rebel spirit, loving to break the rules, like parking where one should not. In abstract art, there is a sense of freedom in breaking the rules, partly because the art itself has done the breaking part. I really have not broken anything, only revealed it.
At Fleming College, Florence Italy, abstract painting was my go-to genre, though I toughed out a few landscapes which were abundant around the gorgeus Villa where we lived. My thesis painting was a dead ringer of “clin d'oeil à Picasso” by Bochaton Emmanuelle. Interestingly, today in my photography I still look for patterns that are disrupted, yet try to honor balance in the composition. It is precisely this theme that became an obsession for me when I discovered the inherent beauty of the rhythms, textures and colors hidden in the finish of rat rods.
Five years ago when I first attended the Lonestar Rod and Kustom Car Round-up in Austin, I was blown away by the spectacular beauty of the cars' organic finishes – particularly the “rat rods” - hot rods whose exterior finish have been subjected to harsh elements over time –rain, sun, heat and occasionally an owner’s belt sander. The blend of old paint and rust creates a stunning patina. Each photo is an energetic ballet of textures and colors creating bold movement and intense mystery. These vintage cars span 40 years and range from a 1924 Ford Model T to a 1966 Chevy. Six years in the making, these “Rust Rapture” images are my favorites in my fine art portfolio.
Johnny Stevens is a native North Carolinian who, after earning a Psychology degree from Wake Forest University, came to Austin to study Radio TV and Film at in the graduate program at UT. In 1982 he founded HORIZON Video, a film and video production company – still in business today - where he produced and directed hundreds of videos and TV spots. In 1990, he sold his company and focused solely on commercial and fine art photography.