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Troy Johnson Captures the Moment
By Jason Lewis (Sports Editor)
Published December 17, 2009

Troy Johnson
Troy Johnson, standing in front of two of his paintings at the Sentinel’s art gallery.
Photo by Jason Lewis

Troy Johnson Captures the Moments

By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Staff Writer

Walk down the Sentinel’s halls and you’ll be hit by some soul. That soul comes from the paintings of Philadelphia native Troy Johnson, who really captures the moment with color and imagery.

Johnson depicts scenes of jazz, blues, struggle, joy, and many other emotions.

Johnson started drawing at the age of eight, when he was exposed to art by one of his best friends, who was from a family of artist. Johnson worked to fine tune his skills so he could be on par with them.

After receiving an undergraduate degree in Industrial Design from Carnegie Mellon University in 1992, Johnson went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from Howard University in 1996.

While at Howard Johnson was exposed to a lot more African art.

“I started to learn about the traditions of African arts and the symbolism behind it,” Johnson said. “It allowed me to develop a unique way of looking at some of the images from my traditional European training from high school and undergraduate, and combine it with more traditional African ways of dealing with art.”

Johnson’s work has been exhibited at the Studio Museum of Harlem in New York, and displayed in various galleries throughout the United States.

Johnson moved to Los Angeles in 2001 so that he and his brother could help each other out. His brother is a filmmaker, so they were two up and coming artist helping each other make it.

Johnson likes to capture the moment, whether that be a joyous moment, or a sad moment, or in between.

“I like to capture a person when they are deep in thought,” Johnson said. “Capturing a person when they are coming through a period of sorrow, capturing a person when they are happy.”

Johnson believes that it is always important to get an emotion out of the viewers. Some of his images will give you a real southern feel, some of them will make you feel jazzy, some will make you feel the struggle that people go through.

A piece by Johnson will give emotion to any room that it is hanging in.

Johnson’s artwork can be purchased at the Sentinel, the gallery is open during business hours, or through his website, He can be reached at 310-919-7118.

Categories: Local

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