B. Corey Johnson was recognized again as the leader in the mixed media category when he was awarded first place at the ArtiGras Art Festival at Abacoa Town Center in Jupiter this month. He continues to be listed in this category in art shows across Florida because the medium he uses for his images does not fit any conventional classification.
Johnson has pioneered a technique of creating images using metal leaf, ranging from pure 24 karat gold to copper and aluminum, which is then layered over wood or aluminum sheeting using traditional oil gilding techniques. He then applies various acid washes to chemically oxidize these metals, resulting in a patina that produces a broad range of the colors and textures. Most people are surprised when they learn that there is no form of paint anywhere in the image. He finishes them with a gilded frame that he hand carves to complement the subject matter, creating a truly unique work of art.
“When applying to art shows across the state, it’s difficult for jury members to tell exactly what they are looking at from just a photograph,” Johnson said. “It’s reassuring to see that once actually viewed in person, the judges appreciate not only the process that I use, but the finished product as well.”
His first series, which was on display at ArtiGras last year, depicted the various breeds of Koi that are so realistic you feel as though you could reach in and pick them up out of the water. This year, Johnson branched out into other subject matter, including landscapes and butterflies. Many of his images are intended to be symbolic self portraits, but are left to the interpretation of the people viewing them.
Above: B. Corey Johnson in front of his piece Looking Forward Looking Back.