It isn’t Keith Johnson’s affinity for travel that sparked his interest in photographing planes; but rather a fruition of them. Whether his 40 inch tall compositions are from an aerial point of view looking down at a treading surface of water (HVN > PHF, 2011), or a survey of a flight path, the pictures are “moments in time - color, light, texture and travel,” says Johnson. These images can be seen in Panopticon Gallery’s current exhibition, Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
|Keith Johnson, HVN > PHF, 2011|
The grid formation of his work is a clever approach in which Johnson documents his findings. And, despite the large physique of his compositions, the sometimes indiscernible subjects -- that can resemble decorative tiles in a luxury hotel (Planes Flying In, 2010) -- require close examination.
|Keith Johnson, Planes Flying In, 2010|
These columns and rows provide viewers with comparative chronicles that are similar to a montage of film stills. The creations have progressed into conveyers of ideas and allegories. Their assemblages allow for a stronger impact than individual frames could.
With a background in sociology and anthropology, Johnson’s earlier work comments on “how man claims the landscape” in occasionally outlandish ways. Indian Village records how trees and bushes that a family planted to garnish their simple, white home evolved into an encompassing ball of vegetational ornament.
Simple customs, tendencies, and asserting one’s territory make marks on the world in prevailing, entertaining, and interesting ways.-Marianne Salza, Panopticon Gallery intern.