The works of Stephen Johnston invite us to take a new look at our daily environment. Tractors and beach lounge chairs or luxury shopping carts, buckets with masks, globes and oversized stylish sunglasses: these are some of the many objects that appear to accompany the mysterious solitary figures found in his paintings. Born in 1987, this Irish artist obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine and Applied Arts from the University of Ulster. He wittily paints charming and miscellaneous pictures in offbeat fashion. By involving the story of each object he chooses to depict, Johnston plays at juxtaposing "micro-imaginary worlds", in an ever more surprising manner.
Originally from the Irish countryside (Co.Down), the young Johnston already had a witty and offbeat sensibility. He found inspiration in marine landscapes of his native region, but also and above all in the poetry of daily life: persons, nature, works, fictional works, household objects...If he cites as references figures of the contemporary scene such as Michael Borremans and Denis Peterson, it is evident that Stephen Johnston absolutely admires the works of numerous old masters including Rembrandt, Turner and Magritte. Using what he defines as "the power" of painting, he explores with energy and subtlety the relationship between human beings, their identities and cultural development. He describes the attitude he takes as "painting what he sees at the moment in time when he sees it".
The winner of many awards, including the Diageo Award: Emerging Artist Award (2010) and the TOWRY Award for Best Artist from Northern Ireland (2012), Stephen Johnston is increasingly well-known. His inventive "miscellaneous" works have been shown in many exhibitions, whether solo or with groups, in Ireland, the United Kingdom (at the famous Saatchi Gallery), in France and in Australia.
- The Gardner 2
- The Diver
- The Mercenary
2010Saatchi Gallery, London UK
2011Art Paris at Le Grand Palais, Paris, France
2013The Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Ireland