Chris Johanson was born in San Jose, California and grew up skateboarding and participating in San Francisco’s punk scene. He works in many different visual art mediums and also plays music with his band, Sunfoot. Johanson’s meteoric rise to fame began in the early 2000s, and since then, he has created a rich body of work that references nature and universal human emotion, often with a humorous edge.
In this episode of Art School, we catch up with Johanson at the famed Adobe Books in San Francisco’s Mission District where he spent many of his formative years as an artist. In town for a public art exhibition curated by SFMOMA as well as a signing for his new monograph published by Phaidon, Johanson reflected on the past decade of his career and shared his philosophies on art making.
In a second video, Johanson demonstrates how to create a painting based on personal expression in a Venn diagram format, an art lesson developed for students in partnership with SFMOMA for their project, Open Studio: Artist-Designed Classroom Activities.
Chris Johanson has exhibited his work internationally for over 20 years and continues to make art in Los Angeles, where he lives, often collaborating with his wife, artist Johanna Jackson, and other creative colleagues.