Variation 1, 2020 ©Ervin A. Johnson

Variations On A Theme

Featuring work by: Ervin A. Johnson

#InHonor: Variations On A Theme is a continuation of a series of portraits created to honor Blackness. He describes that the faces in “#InHonor: Variations On A Theme reference validation, representing not only individuals but in a more profound way the face of humanity. The stunning mixed media portraits speak to the pain of individuals and, more broadly, to the Black experience. Johnson created #InHonor: Variations On A Theme to exist in the public realm. The hashtag in the title is a purposeful nod to the viral nature of social media, and an acknowledgment of the part social media has played in seeking justice in recent tragic events. Johnson’s process is informed by the abstract expressionist movement; paint is introduced to the photographic material in a metamorphic way as a stand-in for physical and mental abuse done to black bodies. However, Johnson states, ”Guided by variations, the work explores trauma in a very tangible way via the transformation of the portrait. Paint is metaphorically introduced to the photographic material as a stand-in for physical and mental abuse done to Black bodies. Removing pigment and adding back from the photo on the first layer, in a not so accurate way becomes a commentary on the mishandling of the black body.”

Online: Artist's Talk Sep 24 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Join us as the artist, Ervin A. Johnson discusses his newest series, Variations On A Theme. Johnson will also be focusing on his artistic process and how his monumental work has evolved over the past five years. This Virtual Artist Talk will be featured on Zoom, September 24th. Please send an email to to register for the event.

Event URL: TBD