Destabilising the Gaze – Abstract Paintings by Artist Johnny Abrahams

In Issue 7 of our “Around the Web” series (sign up to our newsletter if you haven’t already) I mentioned about graphical inspiration and how this has played a major part in the way I view and consider contemporary art and design. When it comes to graphic design you often have to say the most with the least amount of elements. As well as that you have to compose the elements in a manner that’s aesthetically pleasing but striking on the eye, all are important elements in any artwork.

When I came across this work by New York-based artist Johnny Abrahams it intrigued me how he’s able to produce such eye popping work. He often uses a grid and works in one solid colour, curving, zigzagging or using straight lines to create the illusion of movement even though the surface is still. His paint of choice is acrylic and he works in a labor intensive manner to plan both the positive and negative space to destabilise the gaze of the viewer.

His hope in the future is to explore our relationship with such visual elements and plans to use colour, texture and space in new and unique ways to intrigue onlookers. For now we can admire the selection seen here sourced from his portfolio. The ones I picked out are fairly minimal but he has also created colourful compositions that feature diagonal lines interacting with block shapes. Enjoy.