PHOTOGRAPHS | JOHNNY KERR
Having grown up in the suburbs around Phoenix, Arizona, I am very well acquainted with stucco. In the Southwestern US, we use it to finish the surface of almost any architectural structure you can think of: houses, storefronts, bridges, walls, etc. Perhaps it is due to the lack of diversity in my surroundings, or a lifetime of over-saturation, but I have never been much of a fan of stucco. Oh, how I’ve longed for the varied textures, scale and proportions of walls made from wood panel or brick, as seen elsewhere in the US.
So, I decided to challenge myself as an artist to look for beauty where I’ve previously thought it lacking. Exploring storefronts and receiving docks in strip malls and business parks across the Phoenix Metro area became my mission anytime I had half an hour to spare. I devoted many hours and drove many miles in search of interesting relationships between colors, shapes, lines, light and shadows. I quite enjoyed “the hunt,” so to speak. This is the first time I’ve created so much work so close to home and it afforded me the luxury of returning to the same locations multiple times to watch the changing light. It sharpened my awareness and skills of observation, knowing that the next image might be waiting for me in the most unexpected, mundane place amid my weekly routine.
This series is quite a departure from anything I have done in the past. Working exclusively with color, and with such intensity, has been a new adventure for me. However, I still recognize myself in the minimal, graphic composition of each image. I hope that those of you who have followed my work for some time will be open minded as I experiment a little here. I truly believe that an artist who is not experimenting or exploring new things is actively becoming irrelevant. This is not an abandonment of my other work, but a further exploration of new skills and ideas that will enrich whatever it is I turn my eye to in the future.
THANKS FOR WATCHING!