Welcome to The Art of Johnny Sunday website. It is a place where tragedy and humor, the spiritual and mystical, politics and social commentary, the macabre and commonplace, all come together in the form of images and words posing as art. Can the caricature become art? It is a question I leave to you; I abandoned the question long ago seeking the journey or, in other words, the process of creation. Within this context, I found, that the process of creation was unpredictable and open, and outside the whims of my limited capacity to choose. Hence, the caricature and the cartoon leapt forth from my palate and pen, mixing with other forms of "serious" art, with a smile.
My first painting was done as a boy. My parents had taken me to a drive-in movie to see Godzilla. Miraculously they woke up to see Godzilla painted on their bedroom door with my mother's red lipstick.
The image of a monster (who came from the depths) on my parentís bedroom door was a symbol beyond the comprehension of a young boy but it seemed to foretell what was to come. I would be interested in images from the dark parts of the psyche, and I would be interested in how those images became manifest in social, political, spiritual and the intimate realms of people, where tragedy is surely born and where the inspiration to overcome those darker places arises.
In the face of tragedy and the darker side of the human psyche, I found that humor was a necessity. It has been a companion all of my life, and has been the greatest antidote to the effects of those tragedies. I probably received humor first from my mother. Later, throughout my life, I have been blessed with family and friends who had good senses of humor. Many of the images I make are caricatures which are an expression of humor, though sometimes a more serious brand of humor. At other times, the humor in the caricatures is outright silly. Still other times, the caricatures hold a feeling of the mystical and the spiritual.
Whether they be mundane depictions or flights of fancy of the imagination, whether they be mythical or dreamlike, the images tend to be poetic in that they represent something under the images. The images are a metaphor for underlying feelings, thoughts, energies, which are more internal. When one rides the metaphor via insight, there is always the possibility of transcendence. And transcendence, like humor, is a transforming element turning the dark side into something else. For example, Godzilla may become an angel who burns down the city so that a new vision of humanity and community may be attained. Thus begins the dance of images, of which this art is but a means to kindle, opening the many possibilities to journey within the eye of the viewer.
Please note, that the graphic poems are a genre adapted from the graphic novel. These have poetic devices such as lyricism, metaphor, symbol, rhythm, and simile, infused with the narrative hence, the moniker graphic poem. They are autobiographical fiction and may be considered as a Bio of the artist.
Again, welcome to The Art of Johnny Sunday website; I wish you a fulfilling journey.