Press Release

Mark Moore Gallery proudly presents "Walldayallday" in Gallery Two, a solo exhibition of new drawings by interdisciplinary artist, Kiel Johnson. Though most known for his cardboard and mixed-media sculptures, the artist will focus exclusively on his drawing expertise for the first time. Johnson is an incredibly skilled draftsman - fastidious in his manipulation of materials, and obsessive in his execution of intricate, elaborately imaginative structures. This new body of work fuses imagery and materials from his immediate surroundings with frenetic displays of his mechanical curiosity – an allusion to our modern web of organic and manufactured entities.

When beginning these works, Johnson became entranced by the sophisticated organization of structures and systems of bee populations; inspired by his newfound hobby of beekeeping. Despite their organic origins, beehives serve as a simulacrum of the intricate, yet chaotic, systems of organization present in contemporary industrialized society. The viewer will notice undulating patterns of hexagonal structures and hive-lake cavities in many of Johnson's compositions, all of which oscillate between regimen and chaos. His dystopian drawings appear as mind micro-universes, imagined cities, and complex, but inefficacious machinery. What initially appears as safe and secure is ultimately quite precarious in Johnson's hands – a purposeful equilibrium that relies on forces unseen, as is the case in many manmade and biotic environments. These elaborately constructed worlds will crumble at the slightest disruption of a single, minuscule cog in the machine. The artist’s imagery recalls the Reggio film Koyaanisqatsi (1984), which translates to ‘life out of balance.’ While society has built entwined, cultural structures, and blindly continues to abide by rules as to not disrupt the established order, we merely develop a failing system. To many, we are no longer in control of the very systems that we have built, which now dictate how we lead our lives. Through examining the futility of Kiel Johnson’s circuitous worlds, we become aware that not only are we viewing the artist’s endless imagination, but also looking into a mirror of contemporary humankind.

Kiel Johnson received his MFA at California State University, Long Beach (CA). He has received prestigious awards and honors including the Pollock-Krasner Grant, Durfee Foundation ARC Grant, and the CSULB Outstanding Creative Achievement Award. He has had solo exhibitions at the Taubman Museum of Art (VA), Irvine Art Center (CA), and the Creative Artists Agency (CA), in addition to group inclusion at the McNay Museum (TX), Torrance Art Museum (CA), Huntington Beach Art Center (CA), and the University Art Museum, Long Beach (CA). His work appears in several important public and private collections including the Creative Artist Agency (CA), Tubert International (CA), Steve Martin Collection (NY), Todd Oldham (NY), and Sprint World Headquarters (MO). Johnson currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Back To Top