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James W Johnson

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James W Johnson_Self-Portrait with smile_24x18_oil-acrylic by James W Johnson

“Self-portrait with a Smile”

Inspiration: This is a self-portrait James W Johnson painted in April when the pandemic was beginning to hit the city where he lives, Lubbock, Texas. He was pretty worried, being a 66 year old smoker; his imagination conjured up images of little killers all around and on his person. Before acquiring a proper mask, he ventured out, when necessary, like this.

His fears subsided some as he realized the best way he found to deal with the realities of life is through making art. Hence, this Self-portrait where he added a stoic smile to try and disguise his fear and remind himself that reality is often more kind than one’s imagination.

Artist Bio: James W Johnson was born and raised in Upstate New York and moved to Lubbock, Texas in 1978. He received an MFA from Texas Tech University in 1981 and has continued to live in Lubbock as a studio artist. While being primarily a painter, James has spent over 80,000 hours creating a complex body of work in a wide variety of mediums such painting, video, drawing, sculpture, etching, digital, mixed media and furniture. James W Johnson has participated in over 200 exhibitions worldwide. 

Living outside of the mainstream art world has allowed James to perfect his craft and independently pursue an impressive flow of ideas and images that defy categorization and present his observations about art and life from a unique perspective.


Instagram: @jameswjohnsonartist

James W Johnson is one of many talented artists that are showcasing their work on fuconomy.com. If you found this work inspiring and want to see more pandemic art, head to the pandemic artwork page, or try work from another artist, Felicia Gay De Montella. Or if you want to share your own work and have fuconomy showcase it, please complete the submission form.