The LIC Arts Open Gallery at the Factory is pleased to present a multidisciplinary solo exhibition:
Justin D Johnson – “A Sense of Being …”
Curators: Destinie Adelakun and Joel Lopez
Working primarily between the mediums of sculpture, painting, and photography Justin D. Johnson incorporates layering of imagery, texts, and various materials in forms of assemblage, sculpture, & collages. In this body of work, he composes themes of ancestry, race, class, identity, theology, history, human/spiritual resilience, and humanity. The exhibition engages the recalling of African/ African-American history and its repetitive cycles of the past in comparison to our modern-day present.
The exhibition showcases a personal and collective journey of beings uprooted from indigenous origins surpassing tragedy endured by ancestors, while laboring an upward battle of self-destruction through complex traumas in a new era. Also speaking to the spiritual and emotional state of the so-called African-American, being passed down as a conflicted inheritance of blessings, traumas, and points of reconciliation. The cyclical notions of a declining personal and collective self through a distortion in philosophy, music, religion, and continuous and perpetual misrepresentations of beauty, intellect, and leadership in media, popular culture imagery are thoughts brought forth by the artist. Johnson's sculptures celebrate and ignominies the dark and light moments of these irresolute histories.
He utilizes pieces like an iron neck collar (as an exaggeration to represent an entire collective), a golden and battered heart piece (as a symbol of resilience) and musical instruments impelled with nails & screws (synonymous ideas to traditional Kongolese Nkisi figures, used to describe a powerful energetic force or technology) that will carry out the wishes of healing/upliftment or torture and confusion. Ultimately leading one to a death of sorts, whichever direction called upon by its generator. In a general overview, this body of work stands as a refection of a duality between a celebration of transcendence and an analysis on the future movements to break cycles of self-destruction and repetition. Emphasized on a personal and collective revolutionary call to humanity, an exploration of history, cultural significance of music, science, spiritual philosophy, and an importance to figures of influence. Johnson investigates the disconnection of African progression through its origins in the slave trade through a diverse visual story in a multitude of mediums.
30-30 47th Ave.
LIC, NY 11101
(main floor to the right of Security)
Gallery Hours: 24/7, During Exhibitions