Candela Gallery is opening 2019 with #InHonor, a solo exhibition by Ervin A. Johnson. Spurred by personal experiences as a queer black man and the killing of black people across America, #InHonor is a series of photographic mixed media portraits that stand as a visceral response to racism and police brutality.
Influenced by the abstract expressionist movement, Johnson forcibly and fervently removes pigment from the original photographs and meticulously reconstructs the canvas with various layers of skin-toned colorant. The resulting, distressed portraits are arresting, mirroring physical and symbolic gestures of trauma and renegotiation.
Erecting forms of strength and resiliency born out of tragic violence, Johnson constructs a monolithic series that lives and breathes in the public realm. The hashtag title highlights social media’s powerful role throughout our current culture, addressing truths about past and current events and a mean to seeking justice.Johnson was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He completed his MFA in phototpgraphy at Savannah College of Art and Design.
Johnson is the recipient of the 2016 Critical Mass Solo Exhibition Award, 2017 Critial Mass Finalist, and the 2016 Diane Dammayer Fellowship. Most recently exhibited at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, Oregon, Arnika Dawkins Gallery in Atlanta, Gergoia, and Detroit’s Wright Museum in Detroit, Michigan.
Candela Gallery will host an Opening Reception & Artist Talk on Thursday, January 3rd, from 5 – 8 pm. The exhibit will be open during First Friday Art Walk on Friday, January 4th, from 5 – 9 pm.