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Painting is like breathing to me. I am pulled in, to the work, every day. The process is a physical act. I connect to my body and to myself in a sort of visceral dance. The act of painting is unmediated by thought. It starts with a simple stroke or mark that leads to the next one in a continuous flow. Possibility and uncertainty are inherent to my practice. Always a play between anxiety, apprehension and, sometimes, when I get lucky, exhilaration. My language is color. I work with acrylic, house paint, oil, and pastels which I apply directly on to the surface and rework with a scraper, paper, and rarely, a brush.  


David Stephen Johnson (b. Pittsburgh, 1949) is an abstract painter based in Westport, Connecticut. He was awarded a scholarship to college as a star quarterback, playing for South Dakota State, and later earned his BA in Business Administration at the University of Minnesota, Carlton School of Business. He lived in Chicago in the 1970s and shared a studio space with a sculptor at the Chicago Art Institute. He fostered his love for art while developing a series of paintings for his first show at Riverside Gallery. While raising his family, he continued a successful career in advertising between Miami and New York for the prestigious agency Lord, Geller, Federico, Einstein.

He embraced his self-taught path in painting, building a deliberately unpublished body of work studying color and shape, partly influenced by post-war abstract expressionists. His natural athleticism and grace led him toward the great action painters. In 2017 he retired from the business to pursue his passion for painting. He joined The Silvermine Art Center in Connecticut, a prestigious institute for the arts created in 1908 by the sculptor Solon Borglum. Since then, he has participated in numerous exhibitions, expanding his work to large-scale canvases. In 2019 he had his first solo show at Southport Galleries, CT and debuted with a Solo Project at Miami Art Week.

2020 brought the Intersect Aspen Art Fair and the acclaimed Hamptons Virtual Art Fair, where he was selected by their curator as “Featured Artist to Watch.” His European debut was marked by a group show in 2021 at Galerie Sonia Monti in Paris. He was then invited to show some paintings in the renowned Latin American gallery and auction house Galeria Azur, at their most recently inaugurated location in Madrid, Spain. Following the success of this group show, the gallery decided to include David in their permanent representation roster. Van Gogh Art Gallery, also located in Madrid, selected David’s work to be presented at the International Contemporary Art Fair in Paris in September 2021. October 2021 was David’s first solo show at ArtExpo New York on Pier 36 in Manhattan with his new abstract paintings. 2022 brought an invitation by Alpha’a to join their roster of international artists for participation in numerous prestigious showcases and projects happening around the world. Both David’s large-scale canvases as well as his new works on paper were selected to be included. Currently, Indigo II hangs in the uber modernist flagship Molteni&C on Madison Avenue in New York City.

2023 has brought David to fashion darling Christian Siriano’s newest location in Westport. His large scale piece Inception was the highlight of their opening in late March. His Red Over Black hangs in Mr. Siriano’s home in Westport. Christian’s home was just featured on The Today Show and David was tickled to see his piece a part of that house tour.

David’s works are in numerous private collections in Greenwich and Westport Connecticut, Westchester County, New York City, Aspen and Palm Beach as well as Nice, France.

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