Johnny Karwan’s body of work is best described as stylized realism on birch panel. The wood grain shows through in each composition, which somehow feels simultaneously traditional and surreal. “The texture and grain of the wood that shows through the transparent layers of paint, makes its own statement in a way, as the fingerprint of its natural origins that persist beyond the transformation from tree to painted surface,” says the artist. Johnny is inspired by natural history and objects of the past, which contributes a vintage feel to the work. Johnny’s studio is based in his 1904 Edwardian flat in the historic Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco.
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About The Artist
The colors are restricted to a limited palette, which has been initially dominated by black, off whites, neutrals and monochromes. This gives them a decidedly simple, clean and modern feel. He employs an unplanned, intuitive painting process and the spontaneous and calligraphic nature of the brush strokes allow for a flow and movement, with each stroke informing the next, and utilizing an equal amount of abandon and restraint.
Johnny lives and works in the historic Haight Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco California.
San Francisco Art Institute
Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1977