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‘Sun City’: The Artwork of Troy L. Johnson
By Brian Carter (Staff Writer)
Published February 18, 2010


Sun City
By Brian W. Carter
Sentinel Staff Writer
The sound of the saxophone, the snapping of fingers and the melody coming from the ivories 
can be heard in Sun City. Painted by the Sentinel's featured artist, Troy L. Johnson, Sun City is one of his liveliest works.
Johnson uses many colors to give the painting an electric pulse. The use of blues, yellow, orange, green and purple give 
the painting movement and energy. The dark colors ironically convey heat and energy much like it's title "Sun" city.
The soul of Jazz emits from this painting in the skin tones of the people within the painting. Colored in hues of blue and 
purple, the people in the canvas are Jazz made flesh. Johnson uses elongated limbs to convey fluidity and soul.
Sun city is very much a club scene inspired by Jazz but there is also a hint of gospel. The long colorful robes worn by some 
figures and the colorful stained glass in the background convey a connection. Johnson draws some of the characters almost
as though they are giving praise to music. This connection could be interpreted as the universal nature of music to bridge
the spiritual and secular world.
Sun City is the essence of passion and life expressed through music and movement. The combination of Jazz with some 
spiritual elements makes for a powerful and unique work of art.

Troy L. Johnson is a native of Philadelphia and has been painting for over 22 years. His work has been exhibited in various
galleries and museums throughout the country such as Studio Museum of Harlem, Howard University Blackburn Center and
Johnson's artwork can be purchased at the Sentinel. The gallery is open during business hours. You can visit his website at He can be reached by email at or call (310) 919-7118.


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