Mark Lenn Johnson’s Fountainfalls series are photographs of drops of water impacting onto a liquid surface with startling drama and beauty. The extreme close-ups show us something we don’t see every day, and the highly reflective dispersal patterns shot through with intense color look more like glass than water. As Johnson is also a glass artist, this makes sense.
“All of my work, whether it is in glass, creative photography or abstract painting, is the physical manifestation of my intrigue, my captivation, my obsession with color,” explains the artist. “I see my glassmaking process as being much more rigid, orderly, patient and well defined while my painting, in all of its abstract audaciousness, requires a much less systematic and structured approach. My creative photography harnesses aspects from both of these processes. In its own right being systematic and methodical while, at the same time, yielding a completely random, arbitrary and ungovernable outcome. All three, however, are equally important to me and equally necessary and contribute to an all-important sense of balance in my life. Ultimately, I aspire to create art that stirs viewers to a deeply emotional response, even if it's only subconscious – a fitting acknowledgment to work that I hope is considered beautiful by everyone while at the same time being significant to the individual.”
Several images from Johnson’s Fountainfalls Creative Photography Series were added to the permanent collection of Eastern Kentucky University's Library System and placed for display at the John Grant Crabbe Main Library. He is represented in Louisville by Kore Gallery at Mellwood Art Center, where his most recent solo art exhibit, "Nothing But Color!!!" was held in December 2016.
Johnson is being honored by Art Tour International Magazine as one of its Top 60 Contemporary Artists of the Year, in an Award Ceremony to be held in Florence, Italy on May 27, 2017.
Hometown: Lexington, Kentucky
Education: B.S., Mathematics - University of KY, Glassmaking instructional classes with Laura Hallock (Hallock's Stained Glass, Lexington) and Brook White, Jr. (Flame Run, Louisville), Photography instructional classes with John Snell (John Snell Photography, Lexington)
Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.