Jasper Johns, one of the most influential living artists.
Born in 1930, he spent his earlier life between Georgia and South Carolina with different relatives. No art in those places, no artists working near him, no questions about abstract thoughts. He painted at home, alone, only a hobby to mark some difference, because he wanted to be different, to change his fate.
In 1949, he moved to New York City and studied at the Parsons School of Design. It was a brief period, since soon he was stationed in Sendai, Japan, during the Korean War.
He returned to New York in 1954 and started a relationship with the Pop artist Robert Rauschenberg: his moment had arrived. Much art around him, many artists to meet, many questions about the contemporary art scene.
Leo Castelli, an important art dealer, discovered his works while visiting Rauschenberg’s studio, and The Museum of Art of NY bought 4 paintings in Jasper Johns first solo.
Paintings, intaglio prints, sculptures and lithographs full of Pop motives. However, his works are full of paradoxes, of
ironies and contradictions. Then, he is closer to Marcel Duchamp and to Dadaist movement than to Warhol and his iconic world of banal realities. He is not looking for new icons or American myths but for reducing great contemporary myths (as his famous White Flag) to a simple draw, a picture…, the work of an artist, a simple artist as him who needs to share experiences with other artists and rejects the idea of a venerated master as Expressionists or Pop artists were doing. In 1963, he had founded, together with the composer John Cage, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, now known as Foundation for Contemporary Arts in New York City, an important place to develop ideas on art.
Since the 1980s, Johns’ works are extremely difficult to acquire and prices are extremely increased. Collectors look for his paintings, dealers want one work, but he lives between Sharon (Connecticut) and the island of Saint Martin outside the market, looking for something new to paint.
In 2007, The National Gallery Of Art in Washington D.C. acquired about of John’s proofs being the Gallery with more works by Jasper Johns.
In 2011, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.
No doubts, he is one of the most influential living artists.