Artist Statement

My name is Blake Pierre Johnson, and I am an extremely passionate student of art!  I love the fact that art has given me the gift to create, and has enabled me to express myself. I do not come from a family of artistic talent, but as a child I enjoyed drawing cartoon characters and would often challenge myself by attempting to draw challenging compositions accurately.  Drawing is something I did regularly and progressed in very quickly as a child.  With age I grew distant from drawing, and became more interested in sports and music.  I sang, played the drums, enjoyed writing music, creating beats, and became a black belt in taekwondo by age ten.  I also played football throughout middle school and high school.

My senior year in High school I fractured my left wrist, and was not able to play football.   Through this tragedy I discovered my talent and purpose.  I started drawing regularly again, and quickly noticed progression in my work.

In December of 2012 my family and I took a trip to New Orleans.  During the trip my parents decided to take me to a few art galleries. My most vivid memory was a conversation I had with a gallery owner.  He talked to me about a few pieces in the gallery and encouraged me to try painting. Soon after returning home I tried my first painting.  Even though I lacked formal knowledge about painting; I seemed to be a natural, possessing my own style, and painting in a very expressive way.

I entered college as a psychology major and painted occasionally in my spare time.  After a conversation with the head of the art department I changed my major to Art.  This was a risky decision for me, because I possessed no knowledge of how to pursue a career in art. However, I decided to work hard, and have faith that I would become a successful artist.

I am currently a post baccalaureate student in the painting and drawing department at SAIC.  I am also in the process of deciding which graduate program I will attend to receive an MFA in painting and drawing.

My decision to pursue an education in art has been extremely rewarding!  I have learned to use art as a language to express myself in an extremely creative way. My current work explores portraits of people of African descent painted in an iconic manner. I am striving to be one of many successful artists to create art that reflects people of African descent in a positive light.  My desire is to be socially responsible with my art.  My future works will speak for poor and disenfranchised people of all ethnicities.  My art will keep pace with the social issues of the world.

Mother of the Nations, 2017, acrylic and kente cloth on canvas, 5' x 5'
Untitled, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 30'' x 40''
Father of a Nation, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 30'' x 40''
Covered and protected, 2017, oil and acrylic on canvas, 4' x 4'
The Christ, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 24'' x 36''