The Chicago Project IV: Wm. Bradley Johnson

Tomorrow [Friday, September 2] is the last day to see The Chicago Project IV exhibition. We will even be open until 7 pm tonight for First Thursdays, so stop in after work—then you can head to one of these restaurants for special offers.

Below are two images by Chicago Project artist, Wm. Bradley Johnson, along with his artist statement. If you’d like to learn more about his work, visit the show page and click on the film clapper next to his images.

Greg and Linda, 2009

Proxemics is a series that deals with entering into someone else’s personal relationship and space. When one walks into a home that he or she is unfamiliar with personal territory is broken. In essence, an uncomfortable feeling can arise within the outsider, a sensitivity that one would not get upon entering his or her own home. Creating photographs in these places helps define the feeling of proxemics, by taking the viewer into a stranger’s space. Using upper class society in these photographs makes it difficult for the everyday, economically sound person to relate. Additionally, difficulty arises in getting over feelings of discomfort or uneasiness when the surroundings portray another’s personal territory that is so unfamiliar. The use of bright color within these stages of reality further pushes the viewer to feel anxiety when viewing proxemics. The color of these photos defines a deeper perspective into the individual personalities as does the interior of each character’s space.  Including subjects and creating dramatic scenarios between the couple within their homes further pursues that uncomfortable feeling for viewers, allowing them to enter into the strangers’ physical territory. Whether my subjects are up close and in the viewer’s personal space or far back, expressions and interactions within the photograph define who the couple really is, and it is only then that the ideal suburban lifestyle reveals a true face.

—Wm. Bradley Johnson

Bill and Kerry, 2009