Kiel Johnson


Kiel Johnson

Through layered narratives and story-telling, my work speaks to my travels and adventures of everyday life. I think of myself as an explorer, setting out each day on an unchartered path of mediation manifested in drawing and sculpture. My work is a springboard for metaphorical investigations of the world I inhabit. Using line to explore places, objects, and spaces that exist in my imagination, I catalog my observations and seal them in time. Everyone we know will be gone one day soon, but our records will stand to tell tales long after.

The idea of work as play is central to my practice: handmade, hard work, and having fun. I believe in a laboratory approach of experimentation to problems without finite solutions. Inspired by odd discoveries, coincidence, and chance, I seek to personify inanimate subjects. Drawing acts as a seismograph, witnessing my experiences, and recording the vibrations; sculpture advocates my quest for understanding how things are held together. My intention is to bring a sense of curiosity and exploration to the viewer, asking them to consider their approach in navigation.

An unstoppable force keeps me in the constant act of making without end to the journey. I am captivated by the transformation of material into a visual language. My desire to create is a life-long pursuit in improving my abilities, while celebrating the similarities and differences in each of us. Approaching life with a heightened level of inquisitiveness and a playful mind, I continue to source new forms of communication.

– Keil Johnson, 2022

Kiel Johnson is an artist 24hours a day, 7 days a week. He embodies the essence of creativity and exploration in virtually everything he does. His optimistic, humorous, and often Rube Goldberg like sculptures, drawings and video animation deal with the human flotsam and jetsam of contemporary life head on. Equally impressive is Johnson’s ability to engage with the public in hands-on workshops often resulting in large community-based projects constructed from ordinary cardboard. Projects are then often transformed again into video. Johnson’s enthusiasm is contagious and his productive creative energy seemingly boundless.

Kiel Johnson has been a member of the US Embassy Speakers Program in Russia and partnered with TEDX in California, New Zealand, .and the UAE. He has been a guest artist at numerous universities, the Houston Space Center, TX, the Getty Center, LA, CA and others. He is a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Grant and the Durfee Foundation ARC Grant.