Friday, August 24, 2012

Johnny Taylor exhibit opens at Bermudez Projects in LA Sept. 1

To inaugurate its fall season, Bermudez Projects is delighted to welcome its first international show, Light Years, by Canadian artist Johnny Taylor who is as energized by the city as we are.

Whether at home in Vancouver or visiting Los Angeles, Taylor internalizes his surroundings – by exploring, jogging, and the balcony-leaping, wall-climbing, railing-hurdling sport known as parcours – then uses the mental snapshots to make his kinetic but controlled oil paintings. Kinetic, because Taylor says he uses the act of painting to propel his work. “The work emerges as a fusion of idea and action.”

Taylor’s paintings are almost sense memories. “The painter must immerse his senses in the subject,” he says. “Contemplate it, touch it, move within it, and imprint it on their memory. I move through my environment and observe the junctions, the converging planes, the walls and corridors, the obstacles and openings, the alleys and channels we create to connect us to one another.” That helps him find the deeper purpose, the pulse within the infrastructure framework. “The painter didn't bring the easel to the riverbank,” Taylor says. “He brought the memory of a profound connection back to the studio, and what is created goes beyond the imagery and details straight to the vital energy and soul of the subject.”

Light Years at Bermudez Projects, Taylor’s first solo show in the US, takes its name from one of a dozen new pieces inspired by Taylor’s last trip to LA. Stand in front of one of them, letting your mind wander into the almost architectural frameworks, and you can grasp Johnny’s vision … as he puts it, “a vision is much like memories themselves: clear yet overlapping, immediate yet distant, dissolving and falling into place at the same instant.” Light Years is an non-cynical look at Los Angeles, a great starting point for new arrivals, and refreshing for long-time residents.

Taylor usually works on a grand scale – the largest painting in Light Years is 8 feet long – but he’s also created more intimate works for us, down to 16 x 24 inches. Taylor likes to be challenged. He bristled a little when we asked for some smaller paintings - since not everyone can fit an 8-foot painting in their studio apartment - but then got excited by the challenge. The larger paintings are oil on architectural drawing film; the smaller are oil on wood panels.

Johnny Taylor, 38, is the son of internationally renowned art historian John Taylor, who lives in Vancouver, and former Hungarian opera singer Eva Lindsey, who lives in San Diego with Johnny’s step-father, Dale Lindsey, former American pro-football player for the Cleveland Browns and New Orleans Saints and coach in the National Football League.

The artist has been featured in various publications, including Scout Magazine and the Vancouver Observer.

Light Years opens Saturday, September 1 and runs through October 27, 2012. The opening reception is Saturday, September 1, from 7-10pm.

Bermudez Projects is at 117 W. 9th Street, Space 810, Los Angeles, California 90015. By appointment only. For more information visit

The mission of Julian Bermudez is to discover and cultivate emerging artists, inspire creativity and imagination, and promote the appreciation of art by presenting art outside museums and galleries.

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