Artist Brett Allen Johnson captures the tranquil beauty of the American Southwest in immersive oil paintings. He carefully renders his memories of pristine desert places dominated by vermilion rock formations and blanketed in bright blue skies. Together they create mesmerizing snapshots of the iconic terrain.
Johnson’s love of the West began in childhood, with his frequent trips to his home state of Utah and to Sedona, Arizona, where his grandparents resided. Through his training in drawing, design and painting, he began to cultivate a unique style that emphasizes the light and shapes of landscapes. “These badlands and deserts, the barren canyons, the playas and the great basins – this is where my work began, where it begins”, Johnson said. In his rendered views, the environment is the primary subject, and the cohabiting people, animals, and even plants are decorative in comparison.
Although these depictions resemble real representations of the desert, they are usually created from Johnson’s imagination. “I’m not often a painter of literal places,” he explains. “I regularly invent entire works or paint them from memory. I like to invite observers into a world that is only similar to the one they know, an adjacent world. Perhaps, the adjacent west. The towering red mountains, overwhelming cerulean skies, and cactus-strewn ground that are so often featured in Johnson’s paintings are some of the common iconography we associate with the Southwestern landscape. Likewise, the occasional horse and cowboy imbue these open spaces with an escapist romance.
You can purchase paints available via Maxwell Alexander Gallery in Los Angeles, and keep up to date with Johnson’s latest work by following him on Instagram.
Utah-based artist Brett Allen Johnson creates exquisite depictions of the desert.
It is inspired by the tranquil beauty of the American Southwest.
Johnson paints places from his memories of the desert, creating a romanticized image.
My Modern Met has granted permission to feature photos of Brett Allen Johnson.
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