Geoffrey Johnson is a New York based artist who employs the use of bold and sophisticated paint application to depict urban interior and exterior spaces that abstractly fuse with the human figure. The stark brushstrokes he uses to define the people against the environment collide in an eerily beautiful fashion that “embod[ies] the mood of every urban experience.”
In general, he creates his people with the use of a few brush strokes and dark neutrals, creating a cavity of space piercing into the urbanscape that comprises the backgrounds. There is no defining one person from another based on features or gender or race. The only definition allotted to his figures is based on compositionally created depth or delineating appendages. He draws the attention to the recognizable buildings or street corners rather than to the people who inhabit them. This method of rendering the figure is based fully on the prospect of anonymity, a concept created and perpetuated by the bustling population of a big city.
The edges of the buildings are harsh and the color is muted and selective as if to imply a sense of utilitarianism. Though these harsh edges and dark silhouettes lend themselves to a slight air of cynicism, there is still an enchanting mystery in his paintings. The familiar buildings tower over the indistinct figures in a daunting yet still exciting way.
The allure is rooted in the intrinsic notion big cities hold: the chance for sparkling success or devastating failure, the fun is in playing your cards to see which outcome the city holds for you. The subdued colors and shadow figures allow for the eerie quality to persist; while the confidently bold brush strokes paired with the intrinsic light created through the brightness of his skies emote a dreamlike sense of optimism and prospects of hope.