June 5 - July 3, 2010
The Sabina Lee Gallery is pleased to to present,Paper an exhibition of paintings by Los Angeles based Artist Dane Johnson. Johnson's paintings of discarded scratch-off lottery tickets celebrate the inherent hope of potential riches found in the ubiquitous discarded scraps that litter the streets of the Artist's Hollywood neighborhood.
Untitled (easy money): 2009, 24" x 48" Pencil on paper
The lottery has existed in societies dating as far back as 200 B.C., when Keno slips were believed to have helped fund government projects such as the Great Wall of China. This age-old pastime is a paradox, intrinsically both solitary and incredibly social. At once, we root for ourselves, while playing on the losing team, stacking our losses up for the next big winner. The anticipation created by these games of chance yields to disappointment as the ink is scratched off the ticket, leaving a collection of numbers, prizes and security codes. These marks are a mix of movements, both frantic and economical, measured and exploratory. Johnson’s photo-realish paintings become an honest attempt to commemorate the moment before the reveal.
Untitled (Double Match): 2009, 15" x 11" Gouache on paper
When these numbers don’t reveal a prize the ticket is thrown away. In gathering and presenting the losers, Johnson seizes the opportunity to highlight, in larger than life scale, the hyperactive graphic design and text that adorn these tickets. Johnson in turn reveals the construction behind this game of chance. He strips each ticket of its glossy disguise. The irrational allure of the language in its descriptive force, mirrors the bravado of the imagery. Stacks of cash,pots of gold and swinging monkeys strategically boast possibilities that lie under the scratch off ink.
The paintings’ expressive scratches disrupt the hard-edged graphic design. In this dissonance, Johnson creates a perspective that is both celebratory and aware. What becomes apparent in the discarded tickets are hopeful portraits of a human ritual performed countless times each day. The artist as collector has been let in on these solitary moments and, like a puzzle, pieces them together to accrue the ever-elusive “jackpot.”
Untitled (easy money): 2010, 15" x 11" Gouache on paper
Dane Johnson received his BFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute. He has shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions at galleries throughout the United States including The Luggage Store in San Francisco and the XY and Z Gallery in Minneapolis, MN. where he will present work in August, 2010.
This is the Artist’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.
Sabina Lee Gallery Paper, New Paintings by Dane Johnson June 5-July 3, 2010 Opening Reception: June 5, 2010 6-9PM
For more information, please contact: Sabina Lee Gallery 213-620-9404
PRESS: Read an article about the work of Dane Johnson at The Citrus Repot