Zachary T. Johnson

In contemporary culture, information is spread and processed through a variety of sources and outlets. While some of this may be factual, information often finds its way to a mass audience in a skewed or entirely dishonest form. How the viewer receives this information interests me, as this could be through advertisements, news articles, notifications, and other media. Displaying forms that reference disruption, distraction, and noise evokes this overload of information.

I utilize painting, drawing, silkscreening, and collage. The act of painting itself is marking down information, then either allowing it to be seen, or covering it up. In past work I was focused on the distortion of shapes and forms so that they are no longer recognizable as a single representation. I derived forms from cartoons, internet culture, street art, and pop culture. I utilize representations of dysfunctional obsolete technology, such as television static and SMPTE color bars on televisions to reference a disrupted broadcast.

In my most recent work, I have constructed chalkboards and painted using various inks blended with chalk dust. The impermanence of chalk interests me, as well as the chalkboard as a traditional way of informing people, most notably young people. I use forms such as speech bubbles, disrupted QR codes and rearranged bar codes to comment on the instant communication of information relevant today, as well as how this data can be distorted. These also reference advertisements and easily accessible consumption in a capitalist society. By blurring the boundary between representation and abstraction, I am investigating how viewers perceive displayed information.


2015 - 2019

University of Missouri, Columbia

Bachelor of Fine Arts - Printmaking





Redford Michael Perrine Scholarship

College of Arts and Science Career Development Scholarship

Brooke and Ben Cameron Scholarship







2018 - Serial Box, “DOUBLE BOOKED”, Columbia, MO

Jesse Hall, Undergraduate Visual Art & Design Showcase,
Columbia, MO

Philadelphia Sketch Club, “Works on Paper Exhibition”,
Philadelphia, PA

Columbia Art League, “Stranger Than Fiction”, Columbia, MO

Bingham Gallery, “University of Missouri Undergraduate
Show”, Columbia, MO

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Enrollment into The Yale Norfolk School of Art