Painting // Design


Studio Notes: Day 1

I am documenting my process as I work in the new studio in Harlem:

Today I lay out all of my recent work on a large table. I am seeing the latest figures I’ve painted, gestural and expressionistic, and totally unlike the earlier cartoonish/graphic paintings. When I notice these beside the earlier paintings, I realize a hard tension between a meticulous, cartoon style and energetic, expressionist painting.

It’s not enough. There ought to be no hard tension. I see I can be more joyous. I can keep driving the expressive side of my painting, and keep laughing.

I paint two dogs. The first one is simple and powdery blue. I write on this one “Where did the dream go? Morning Dog”. The other dog is painted in childlike manner, and its paint is thick and crusty.

I paint two hand puppets, a kind of abstract, cartoonish painting. One is kawaii and the other is a Mega Man-like snake head. Typical Johnny Gross style—I am being too self-focused, I think.

“Handpuppets” in the top right corner

“Handpuppets” in the top right corner

Johnny Gross
Where is the Magic?

When a dog passes wind, somebody with a grease-laden mind laughs goonishly. Events happen like this happen every day, nowadays.
As time goes on, more and more the magical qualitative transcendence behind the dog’s passing wind goes unnoticed, goonishly laughed at.

Johnny Gross
Chopped dolphins opens soon!

“Chopped Dolphins”, a solo show of mine, will be opening on January 30 at 6pm. The exhibition is possible thanks to Toda Studio at 87 Richardson St, Floor 2, Suite 5, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Johnny Gross
Surgeon at LIC-A

“Surgeon” is on view. Opening reception on 10/6! Thanks to Long Island City Artists (LIC-A)! It will be a haunting lineup of artworks. See more

Johnny Gross
"Rhino and Poachers" at The Plaxall Gallery/LiCA

“Rhino and Poachers", is on view at The Plaxall Gallery/LiC-A. Opening Reception September 8, 2018. More info here

The painting addresses the issue of the black rhino being poached for its horn. In certain cultures, the rhino’s horn is believed to have medicinal and virile-endowing qualities. This belief is erroneous. Since hunting the rhino is illegal, poachers must act fast and therefore unscrupulously, taking no heed as to the animal’s welfare. For more regarding this travesty, see