Featuring Tadashi Moriyama, Paul Hayes, Kiersten Essenpreis, Rebecca Whipple, and Alexis Amann

Showing Mar. 20th – May 2nd

Propagations, a multi-media art show at Johansson Projects, explores the conjunction of natural, cultural and technological forces that foster unexpected artistic transmissions, replications, and disseminations.

Johansson Projects transforms itself into a breeding ground for its latest perspective-shifting show. Propagations highlights five artists whose original and brazenly eclectic imagery spawns and sprouts its way into the viewer’s subconscious. Children, giant insects, war zones, entire cities and indeed the gallery itself are appropriated, reconfigured and reconstructed.

Tokyo-born New Yorker, Tadashi Moriyama, in his Bay Area debut, produces animations and intricately detailed aerial views of post-apocalyptic landscapes. Overcrowded, over-systematized metropolises sprout consumptive organs; his breeding buildings evolve into chaotic knots of life-sustaining connective tissue. Moriyama, MFA University of Pennsylvania, has exhibited in Japan, Ireland, Italy and across the USA. San Francisco’s Paul Hayes creates large surreal installations of foam and paper that may suggest pixilated smoke; they swirl like schools of fish, and hover like an invading flock of birds. Stand among them and you may imagine the swarm is reproducing. Hayes, a Rhode Island School of Design graduate has developed site-specific installations for the Exploratorium, Alcatraz, and the theater at SFAI. New Yorker Kiersten Essenpreis piles teeth around children’s beds and drops spiders onto inexplicably smiling schoolgirls. Her disarming pop-art style subverts the clichés of American childhood: parochial, pink-cheeked children find themselves entangled in dark narratives. Essenpreis, who studied at Pratt Institute, has made art appearing in the New York Times, GQ, Wired, Boston Globe, and Nylon. From her home in Paris, Rebecca Whipple composes meticulous modern versions of the medieval illuminated manuscript, text enlivened by painted imagery, in her case, humorous reactions to political events or comments on the impact military invasions have on our environment and culture. Whipple earned her MFA at San Francisco Art Institute. In the painted universe of San Franciscan Alexis Amann every inhabitant seems to spring to life, galvanized by swirling, beckoning tentacles. Her works teem with girls, fish, zombies, and other flora and fauna, all driven by the fierce forces of love and water. Amann earned her MFA at San Francisco Art Institute.