Carla Rae Johnson is an artist whose media include drawing, sculpture, conceptual, performance, and installation art. She is a New York Foundation for the Arts 2005 Fellow in Sculpture and a 1990 recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. Her work has been exhibited in solo, invitational, and curated shows in museums and galleries nationally and is included in numerous public and private collections. Since the mid 1980’s, the work has been consistently exhibited in the New York City area. Works by Carla Rae Johnson have been reviewed in The New York Times, The Village Voice, The New Haven Register, The Journal News, and The Times Herald Record. She has been represented by Ceres Gallery in Chelsea, and Maxwell Fine Arts in Peekskill, NY.
Having received a BS from Ball State University, and an MFA from the University of Iowa, Ms. Johnson has been making and teaching art for nearly 30 years. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Westchester Community College, SUNY.
I should have been a poet. I make the most of metaphors: visual/verbal connections, their combined forces unleashed to address the state of things. Metaphors layer conscious and subconscious, poetic and mundane realities.
I should have been a jester. The artist as ‘fool’ can practice truth, wrap it in humor and deliver it to the court. The jester loves to pun. Puns convey two realities at once with great precision: they are condensed metaphors. I use them unabashedly in my work.
I should have been a carpenter. The smell of wood brings comfort– attention to detail brings its own rewards. Each work is brought to a level of completion that serves its content and my own intentions; no more, no less.
My work is directly connected to ideas and often addresses issues of social, political, and cultural import. As an artist, I find the most challenging forms and concepts at the intersection of the visual and the verbal. I delight in communicating insights with humor, word-play, and not just a little irony. My work includes drawings, sculpture, conceptual works, installations and performances. My favored media include: ideas, wood, drawings, assemblage, metals, plastics, concrete, clay, and words. I thrive in the solitude of the studio, and, also, in collaboration with other creative artists.
“No ideas but in things…” William Carlos Williams