about the exhibit
“Blacker the Berry” primarily explores the strength and beauty of the black woman through the physical form using mostly black and white portraiture accented by surprising hints of color and radiant gold-leaf appliqué. Artist Ray Johnson calls upon the most important women in his life including his mother, wife, and daughter as inspiration for these incredible works. In this exhibit, Johnson has pushed himself even further to include men and images of anyone who strikes a feeling within him.
As Johnson states “I want people to see themselves in the art. I want them to feel… the story within it.”
About the artist
Life’s positives and negatives have given Ramon Johnson the will to create art that expresses hope, strength, and determination. Ramon began drawing at an early age. Shortly after high school he created a small comic strip entitled “Comin’ of Age” that was published in several small newspapers in Florida.
Ramon studied at Atlanta College of Art (2003-2005) and Savannah College of Art and Design (2009), majoring in illustration. It wasn’t until he returned to the Hampton Roads area in 2010 that he found his voice in art through painting. Ramon soon began presenting his work at local events in and around the Hampton roads area. In Sept 2016 Ramon, along with friend and fellow artist Dorvilier Olivier, had his first exhibit at The SAND gallery in Baltimore, MD. Also in 2016, Ramon was featured in “Beyond the Stroke”, a bi-monthly publication that focuses on the arts and journey to artistic freedom.
Ramon believes his work portrays the emotions of the people in and around his life, with his main influences being his wife, mother, and sister. Ramon’s work has grown as much as he has over the years. Acrylic is his paint of choice; he has a talent for blending and the ability to give his portraits life. He is known for his black and white portraits but it is his love to explore different textures that sets him apart.