Stephen Johnson: Jack of Spades
Through forceful, abstract brushstrokes, representing the effect of warfare, intermixed with fragments of the Jack of Spades card, which in my view are symbolic of every soldier, my monoprints celebrate and honor the contribution of each individual veteran to a larger whole.
In addition, this particular monoprint honors my great-grandfather, Dr. Thomas William Salmon who served as chief consultant of psychiatry in the American Expeditionary Force during WWI. Dr. Salmon was outspoken against the human administrative politics of the day and voiced his concern for his injured patients and returning soldiers and the enormous psychological impact of warfare. He was instrumental in creating new procedures for treating what is now called PTSD, organized a military neuropsychiatric service and base hospitals, set up a system for the treatment and rehabilitation of veterans, and pushed for the creation of veteran hospitals nationwide. He had a warm, compassionate, and understanding demeanor and was beloved by his soldiers and staff.
Stephen T. Johnson’s visually arresting and conceptually rich body of work, forges connections between words, objects and ideas. His art spans a broad range of concepts and contexts and can be seen in site-specific public art commissions, gallery and museum exhibitions, and original award-winning children’s books such as Alphabet City, a Caldecott Honor, Society of Illustrators Gold and Silver Medals, and a New York Times Best Illustrated book of the year.
His drawings and paintings are in numerous private collections including those of musician Paul Simon and actress Cherry Jones, and in the permanent collections of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg Pennsylvania, the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut, and the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. Among his public art is a 70-foot mosaic mural at the DeKalb Avenue Subway Station in Brooklyn New York, a 60-foot mosaic mural at the Universal City Metro Station in North Hollywood, Los Angeles California, and 33 glass panels for the Dallas Love Field Airport, in Dallas, Texas.
Please visit him at his website