Aron Johnston, Never Lose Hope, 2019

Come see this painting in the Folly show I’m curating at Figure Ground Art Gallery in Seattle, opening Nov 3rd, 2022.

Sheep are herd animals that find safety and comfort in numbers, yet alone they are vulnerable to predation. For Johnston this sheep represents the conscious self, someone who has taken a different path from the herd, standing alone in the dark unknown. The sheep has been cornered by the wolves, symbolic of self-doubt and other negative feelings that can at times be overwhelming. The scene can stand as a metaphor for the career path of an artist, one with no roadmap, strewn with obstacles and challenges along the way. Johnston says that “The painting places you, the viewer, in the car that comes upon this scene, its lights illuminating the personal struggles of the protagonist and you are left with the choice of helping or indifferently passing by.”

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