IAN JOHNSON (PRE-SHOW) INTERVIEW

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So is this your first solo show?
This isn’t a solo show - Albert [Reyes] is in it. (Laughter)

What I meant was - is this your first ‘big’ showing? It is just you two guys…
I guess yeah - it really depends on who’s looking at it. I mean I’ve had solo shows before…

How about this - What is the magnitude of this show to you?
Probably would be the biggest one I guess - so far. Knock on linoleum [knock on the linoleum table..] but yeah - I mean the last one that was in Park Life was important cause that was pretty much a solo show that I sold pretty well at - and made me feel like I wanted to keep trying to do this. But yes I would probably say that this would have to be the busiest opening - probably for Albert [Reyes] too - but yeah I guess you could say that.

How much of this exhibition is original work - And how much of it is recycled pieces from past shows?
Everything! Everything - yeah well - one piece I showed at my last show (at Parklife) - but that’s it. I think I have 38 pieces - just one I carried over - which I really like - it was like the only one that I had left so - give it one more shot. I mean I try not to repeat but - if you spend a lot of time on something you want to give it- I give it two shots. You know if it don’t work this time - then give it away or whatever.

As far as hours and days what are we talking about clocking in for this show?
I guess I new about it for like six months. But I really didn’t start working on it ‘til like two months ago - I’m so fucking lazy. Two because I have been doing Western Edition stuff. I mean being lazy I don’t really have so many hours in the day in which I can actually work. But if I have to do stuff for like Western Edition then I pretty much just do that that day. And like I don’t draw everyday - but like in the last two months I’ve tried to spend like at least like four hours a day drawing - which ain’t shit - I’m not like putting in the time I should. But I feel that I am getting better - like my work rate is getting better. I still have a long way to go as far as - you know… I’m not like a full time artist - yet - you know maybe in the future.

What do you want people to walk away with conceptually or anything at all from this exhibition?
I hope that they walk out with a receipt from a purchase [laughter]. I mean if someone has something nice to say then it is always nice to hear - or the people whom on the way out say “I really liked this work” or “I really liked this piece” - just something or real basic. I don’t have any deep message I am trying to change the world - I don’t really have an angle except for: I draw the musicians I like and try to put some of the music into the portrait in some way - if I can - I’m not that great at it - but I think that I can get better. And if one is aware of my work then I hope that they think it is better than the last stuff of mine they saw. I’m just trying to baby step it man.

Any shout outs?
I thank Andrés [Guerrero] for giving me the show. Jamie Alexander for driving all of my stuff and for telling me I had enough work done and my shit wasn’t terrible - it made me feel better about it. And of course my Chrissie for putting up with me not paying attention to her for the last two months.

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Ian Johnson’s work will be being exhibited from 02.09.08 through 03.08.08 at White Walls Gallery (835 Larkin St. SF, CA - ph.415.931.1500) Go Buy A Piece!