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Kiel Johnson

Sculptures and illustration explore busking in an L.A. artist's newest work

by Greg Stefano in Culture on 14 January 2011

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In his newest piece "Busker Rig," L.A.-based artist Kiel Johnson explores past, present and future through a steampunk take on the one-man band. With an almost instantly recognizable style, his distinct drawings and cardboard sculptures make explicit the transformation of humble materials into form.

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As an artistic craftsman, Johnson relates to the notion of musicians peddling their talents for money. "Busker Rig" is a tribute to anyone "trying to earn a living through their handiwork."

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While he embodies the DIY aesthetic, creating all of his sculptures from cardboard, chipboard and more recently UV-activated surfboard foam, Johnson's ability to construct such complex works comes from a technical mastery that's the upshot of an extensive education and meticulous study of his craft. Offsetting monotone colorways, his attention to detail makes his work exude energy and feel full of life .

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Catch Johnson's latest work alongside a variety of great artists—including our friend Kim Rugg—at the inaugural exhibition for the new Mark Moore Gallery space in Culver City, CA, running through 12 February 2010.

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