Bearden 100

#67 Jacob and The Angel Tree - 1961
By Romare Bearden

Selected by Al Johnson

Jacob and The Angel Tree - 1961

Romare Bearden and his art have influenced my direction since I was 9 years old when I met the man. I was one of ten children chosen for a city wide art contest and it was held at the Whitney Museum ...1970 . Romare Bearden was a judge for this and had told my mother to "make sure this boy stays with this art thing". He said "I got the composition and he has understanding of depth and perspective". I didn't understand all that then. I just love the fact that I had something to say . This particular piece I have chosen "Jacob the Angel Tree" reminded me of a stained glass window over my Grandmother's living room . Every angle I viewed it I see many objects and feel more subject moving towards the top to bottom. It is in my opinion that art should always have components that hold interest. Because that is the healing part for me to be in behold when you see it .

Al Johnson

illustrator, fine artist, educator and mentor
New York

"The Magic In You"  24"x24" oil on canvas created 2012. 

Al Johnson, illustrator, fine artist, educator and mentor has developed an inclusive vision that captures the Classical, weaves it with the contemporary and refracts it through the prism of his remarkable individuality. While formally trained in the techniques of the Great Masters, Al Johnson’s art, in fact, goes to the essence of jazz in that it brings together many influences while celebrating individuality. Mr. Johnson honed these skills, while attending famed institutions such as Pratt Institute, the Albert Pale School of Commercial Arts and the Arts Student League.

Called “the artist” since his youth, Mr. Johnson has exhibited in many corners of the world including the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum in Japan, the Guangzhou International Art Fair in China and New York City in a juried exhibition curated by Jordan Kantor, during his tenure as Assistant Curator at the Museum of Modern Art. His abilities as a draftsman have allowed him the opportunity to develop the original renderings of the Georgia Aquarium, the largest aquarium in the world. Chosen out of a nationwide search, Mr. Johnson created the commissioned portrait of Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, permanently installed in Brooklyn Borough Hall, in New York City. He is presently on exhibition at the Artcurian “Artists Speaking for the Spirit” Group Exhibition, consisting of some of the most revered artists of African ancestry.

As a storyboard artist in the commercial and feature film industry, his signature style is sought after. The over 700 illustrations created for the feature film “After.Life” brought darkness to light from frame to frame. Mr. Johnson has developed storyboards for the Academy Award Winning Film “The Hours”, the feature film “The Fountain”, HBO’s Soprano’s, Six Feet Under and Sex and The City, and the 2010 Izod Indy 500 commercial, to name a few. Presently, he is creating the storyboards for two Izod commercials to air during the 2011 Super Bowl.

His passion is to inspire. A humble and self-effacing man, Mr. Johnson gives back to future artists by providing his unique teaching style designed by Al Johnson Art Studios. The lists of his accomplishments are many as he motivates those to come.