Mom, Can Astronauts Be Black?
We are honored to represent Micah Johnson, an artist willing to push the envelope in his artist process who is tackling some of the most important issues facing society today. Micah Johnson has created Sä-v(ə-)rən-tē, a time-sensitive photographic artwork that evolves over the next 11 years, and is available today via Async.Art on the blockchain. This vitally important work bridges the gap between our digital and real world, allowing viewers to donate directly to the children photographed, thus positively impacting their lives. It is a symbolic act of sovereignty, an independent artistic solution to the historically oppressive legacy of the financial system. Every year on the boys’ respective birthdays, a Layer change reveals what each boy wants to be when they grow up along with a bitcoin wallet that anyone can contribute to. Each night at 8:00 pm PST, the work enters night mode until 8:00 am PST. The mission of the work started with Johnson wanting to empower the two youths seeing themselves in high-art, but quickly turned into the most important use-case for Bitcoin. "We're proud to represent an artist embracing groundbreaking ways to showcase his art. In a year that has prevented so many of us to visit museums and galleries and have the kind of meaningful interactions with works of art, we feel it's more important than ever to give collectors and art enthusiasts access to our artists and the work they create," says Jacquelin Napal of Art Angels Gallery Los Angeles. As of today, Micah and this artwork have set the record for the highest selling digital artwork at $120,000
In this newest series of paintings, Johnson further expands and hones this style, exploring the effects of scale and perspective. Looking at the double meaning of “perspective,” Johnson creates stylized angles on his subjects, hoping to prompt a revamping of viewers’ perceptions -- of them, themselves, the art, and the world. Introducing exaggerated angles and close-up intimacy in his portraits, Johnson guides the gaze throughout the work, presenting his subjects’ monumental, emotional, confident visages in ways both ambiguous and familiar, intended to lead the viewer through their young dreams, and ultimately, back to their own.
These stirring portraits, intended to evoke an emotional narrative through the intimacy of portraiture and as an expression of the black sheep / outcast theme, combine Micah’s expressive, exuberant palette and empathetic, evocative style. Each portrait is anchored by a perfectly rendered eye, set like a jewel amid the chromatic swirl of their complex humanity. As a graduation of Johnson’s earlier dream-focused works, each BLACK SHEEP portrait is raw, visceral and emboldened reflection of the emotional state Johnson was in when making the piece.
A central figure, the female astronaut will also be unveiled. She will symbolize and be a reflection of the historic firsts for women of color--from venturing into space, to coaching professional baseball and most recently holding the highest position of any woman in American history as Vice President of the United States. She is an emblem of hope and progress for our female youth and their limitless dreams.