image

Ezra Johnson’s exhibition Cut-Rate Paradise is inspired by Florida. This group of paintings and video reflect the mid-twentieth century promise of an inexpensive paradise for all, with no winter and a big house and pool, which ultimately loses its sparkle. The infrastructure of this promise is visibly crumbling and worn out. Signs no longer communicate messages because of sun fading and weather, but they retain original shapes; often, odd shapes, pointing at now vacant lots, faded and dusty. Johnson is not trying to make a negative statement about the American Dream; the truth be known, he likes these qualities, and regards them as beautiful and mysterious. Johnson states: “It is a pursuit of beauty that has been formed slowly through a combination of man-made infrastructures and weathering by the strong sun and jungle that is so haunting to me. My work is normally a response to my environment as well as inspirations such as literature, poetry or paintings. The writings of Joan Didion, Don DeLillo, Cormac McCarthy, Jean Baudrillard as well as paintings of Tal R, Edvard Munch and Josef Albers’ Homage to the Square series are sources of consideration and reflection.”