Johnathan Palmer

My art examines concepts of identity by challenging assumptions, stereotypes and myths of the human experience. I am interested in understanding how our beliefs and misperceptions guide our judgments. My work juxtaposes contrasting phenomenon such as perfection and mutation, desire and repulsion, or impairment and idolatry. By dissecting such ontological misgivings and cultural ideals as disparate and homogenous my art discusses difference and the indifference of judgment. Whether it is a hyperbolic notion of celebrity or in how we identify someone as other, how does that judgment affect our individuality and in turn reflect upon contemporary society? Popular culture remains captivated by stature as well as the myth of the freak. The attraction for either is a fetishized desire that feeds our need for the popular or the outsider and contorts our understanding of self. My work is a visceral response rooted in personal experience as well as being a commentary on American culture. Taking a peripheral view of the human condition offers an extraordinary scene that, on one end, may appear godly and on the other, wretched. Two of the prints presented in the Works on Paper show were created in 2012 using invasive species of plants as a trope. The metaphor reflects on the displacement and recreation of self. The two drawings and the print (2015-16) exhibited use concepts related to Georges Bataille’s book “Visions of Excess”.