Elisa Johns

Region: Pacific Coast

In a time when our perception of "the natural" is obscured by urban living, my work delves into a fantasy in which bourgeois living collides with raw nature. Contemporary culture is obsessed with indicators of beauty. I take these indicators-beautiful people, animals, architecture-and place them within lushly painted landscapes. These elements become equally valued icons of desire and beauty. My intention is to establish a departure point into a fantastical narrative space.

There is a sincerity in my homage to the feminine. Yet, this reverence is balanced by wit and calculated humor. My characters' sexuality or lack of it is explored. I am interested in executing paintings that break with irony and instead sincerely embrace glamour. However, some depictions of beauty take on a more ominous tone. Critique is located in the fantastic, the absurd, the parody; it is also located in the power of propagating one's own myth: narcissism.