Erok Johanssen, Soul Khan, Street advertisements on panel

Erok Johanssen, Soul Khan, Street advertisements on panel

Here is a look into Erok Johanssen's ideas and inspiration behind his new show AD•AP•TATION(S)

“My work is mainly influenced by graffiti and street art. I started painting trains when I was 16 or 17. It was just fun to sneak in the yards and do something that we weren't supposed to be doing. I got hooked on that rush. The adrenaline. I didn't start doing it with the intention of becoming an artist. It just happened to work that way. I noticed every time i would go out and paint that I would learn something new and that my pieces were getting better. I began to get addicted to that progression as much as the rush of doing the work. Thats when I started taking it seriously and started to consider what I was doing art

I spent around 10 years focusing strictly on graffiti as a means of artistic expression until some friends invited me to do an art show with them. I didn't know how to make any art besides graffiti so I began experimenting with stencils because the spray can was the only tool I knew at the time. That was around the time the Fresh Produce Art Collective was formed. Through FPAC I met a ton of artists working in a wide variety of mediums. It was a very open and experimental collective. I learned a lot of new mediums through my involvement with the collective. Trading techniques was common practice for us. Everybody always had their own spin to put on different techniques. Mine always came back to some form of graffiti or street art.

My current series Ad•ap•tation(s) is a new celebration of the street aesthetic. The works are inspired by the dilapidation process that occurs to street advertisements as posters are layered over and over each other and over time begin to peel and tear from the natural elements. As the posters break down, new imagery is created. It is interesting to see what is revealed beneath the initial surface. Often times it leads to strange and interesting groupings of imagery and message. My new series aims to create exciting compositions out of posters that I have taken from the streets of NYC, Berlin, Paris, and Hong Kong.”