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Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022

The Lens of Neil Johnson


Neil Johnson has photographed everything from some of the biggest celebrities to the smallest aspects of nature. This spring, he’s opening the doors on a new exhibit of his work, “Opposites Abstract: The Lens of Neil Johnson,” at Big Sun Studios in downtown Shreveport.

The opening reception will be held March 4 from 5 to 8 p.m. during Downtown Artwalk.

Johnson’s career has been a mix of photography motifs spanning many styles, but this exhibit focuses on two areas of particular interest to the lensman.

His father had a passion for camellias, those brilliant blossoms that decorate many southern landscapes each fall and winter. Johnson said he inherited a home with a score of the bushes.

“For over a decade, on many a winter morning, I carefully picked a single worthy bloom and transported it immediately to my studio. I set up four things: the bloom, my camera, a single light and music. With these tools, I delved into the splendor of each bloom with a macro lens. You could say I was looking for my father in there somewhere. I found joy. And — no surprise — love. Thanks, Dad!” Another of his interests is abstracts. “Over years, seeing abstract images everywhere, I’ve collected many with my camera,” Johnson said. “I first find their boundaries within the frame, then detach them from their settings. What surrounded each, now deleted, was their recognizable context. The image has now become free of context to be its undefined self.

“I used to give in to temptation and reveal the context to viewers. I now choose to let each remain free of context — to live with only its lines, forms, textures and colors, and how these and other elements work with and relate to each other within the image. The elements of each image then — together — live with infinite possibilities in the relationship between the image and viewer, producing unique emotions, feelings and ideas different from any other viewer.”

Johnson has pivoted from his primary focus on photography to develop his other passion for writing. He’s penned many books for young readers, written numerous weekly arts columns for the Shreveport Times, and two successful coffee table photography books.

“Opposites Abstract: The Lens of Neil Johnson” will extend on weekends through May 8. This exhibition will depict mostly never-before-seen representational/ figurative photographs as well as abstract artworks. To see Neil Johnson’s portfolio, visit www.njphoto.com.


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