Ervin A. Johnson   #InHonor
January 4 – February 16, 2019

Ervin A. Johnson, “Joshua,” Mixed Media Print, 56 x 42 inches

Opening Reception & Artist Talk  |  Thursday, January 3rd, from 5 – 8 pm
First Friday Art Walk  |  Friday, January 4th, from 5 – 9 pm

Candela Gallery is pleased to open 2019 with #InHonor, a solo exhibition by Ervin A. Johnson. Spurred by personal experiences as a queer black man and the killing of black people across America, #InHonor is a series of photographic mixed media portraits that stand as a visceral response to racism and police brutality done to the black body.

Created out of a need for social practice and in a way to honor Blackness, Johnson began #InHonor around the time of the Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner protests. Influenced by the abstract expressionist movement, Johnson forcibly and fervently removes pigment from the original photographs and meticulously reconstructs the canvas with various layers of skin-toned colorant. The resulting, distressed portraits are arresting, mirroring physical and symbolic gestures of trauma and renegotiation.

Erecting forms of strength and resiliency born out of tragic violence, Johnson constructs a monolithic series that lives and breathes in the public realm. The hashtag title highlights social media’s powerful role throughout our current culture, addressing truths about past and current events and a mean to seeking justice.

Ervin A. Johnson was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He completed his MFA in photography at Savannah College of Art and Design. Johnson is the recipient of the 2016 Critical Mass Solo Exhibition Award, 2017 Critical Mass Finalist, and the 2016 Diane Dammayer Fellowship. Most recently exhibited at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, Oregon, Arnika Dawkins Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, and Detroit’s Wright Museum in Detroit, Michigan.

Ervin A. Johnson, “George,” Mixed Media Print, 56 x 42 inches