F. Geoffrey Johnson
F. Geoffrey Johnson, visual poet, has self published two collections of poetry, SMELLS I SEE, 142 pp., 2004 and RESTORATION, 148 pp., 2005. Johnson’s poetry has been published in several literary journals, magazines and anthologies. Recent poetry can be found in CRUX: A conversation in words and images/South Africa to South USA, Anthology, Fulton County, GA, Publisher, 2007; The Caribbean Writer, International Literary Anthology, Volume 22, University of the Virgin Islands, Publisher, 2008; Black Magnolias Literary Journal, C.Liegh McInnis, Publisher, Winter 2008, 2010; KARA WALKER—NO/KARA WALKER—YES/KARA WALKER—?, Midmarch Arts Press, 2009; Mythium Literary Journal, Vol.1, No.2, 2010; Encounters: Poems About Race, Ethnicity and Identity, 2011, Edited by Paula Cole-Jones. Johnson was selected as one of four artists (2 from USA / 2 from SA) to participate in a three-week international residential fellowship at Caversham Centre for Artists and Writers, Balgowan, South Africa, January-February, 2009.
Johnson's visual art is an extension of his poetic voice. In developing his artistic voice, he has extended his reach by means of the assemblage process, integrating poetry and visual references. His new works are evolving from his story telling background as a poet. Johnson has a need to tell stories that have a social, political or environmental context. He believes his art must be about more than just looking nice.
It was a natural progression to explore painting as an alternative means of expression in order to convey the stories I am allowed to share. As a storyteller, I use painting as a second language. I often tell people, I paint like a poet, always editing and thinking of the story first and foremost. The cliché “a picture is worth a thousand words” is so true. Sometimes words are not sensitive or expressive enough in conveying feelings and oft times get in the way.
I enjoy the mystery of painting because I am surprised as a painting emerges. I often begin with no idea of what will be painted, only a prayer that I may become a conduit for expressing a story that may touch others in a positive and/or thought provoking way. It is amazing to find the similarities in writing and painting. Both processes begin with empty slates yearning for stories in need of finding their target.
As i travel this road as an artist, i am constantly exploring new means of expressing the smells i see. Assemblage of found objects on satellite dish reflector plates began as a means of expressing stories and poetry I had submitted to literary journals that were rejected by editorial staffs. The series "Can You Hear Me Now" was born from the seeds of rejection. I thank those editors for this birth.