The Illustration & Design World of Zach Johnsen

Works in progress, up and coming, tidbits and extras. Keep posted here for news and information before it hits my site. To catch up on old news please visit my previous blog.

Big thank you to everyone that came to the opening night of Shadow Cabinet! Unfortunately, due to unforseen circumstances, I didn't get a single photo of the opening night crowd.  But I did capture photos of the work installed and hanging in the gallery.  I'm very happy with how the work came out and how it looked hanging on the walls alongside each other.  Enjoy the photos of the finished work. And anyone in the Los Angeles area, please stop by Cave Gallery and see the work in person!

Shadow Cabinet will be hanging until April 6th.

SHADOW CABINET OPENINGSaturday, March 15, 2014

Shadow Cabinet opens tonight, Saturday March 15th!

Portland based artist Zach Johnsen has been focusing on a synthesis of styles recently - marrying the graphic sensibility of his well known "Acid" work (which depicts suited figures suspended in a freeze frame of frenetic, explosive motion) with the expressiveness of painting.

For his upcoming 2014 solo show "Shadow Cabinet" at C.A.V.E. Gallery, Johnsen has been diligently working to continue the development of a unique body of work that provocatively delves into the mythology of mask and spirit and current political systems.

In this new series, Johnsen visualizes a phantom parliamentary system charged with regulating the flow of life and energy. The "Shadow Cabinet" is an amorphous cloud of radiant energy that constitutes an arm of his earlier work for the "House of Uncommons".

This ethereal force occasionally takes shape and solidifies as a bonafied governing body of flesh and blood. Johnsen depicts each member as a half breed class of human and masked spirit entity which operate both within the sphere of the spiritual world and alternately within the world of concrete, traffic jams and inefficient bureaucracy that we are all familiar with. The narrative revolves around how members of the "Shadow Cabinet" interact and react during states of duress, resulting in a colorful take on the political system.

Johnsen's work in "Shadow Cabinet" explodes with technical skill and pop sensibility. The artist continues to push the boundaries of mixed media, adding colored smoke bombs to his creative arsenal - the result being an exhibition of fantastical figures that appear to emerge from ethereal backgrounds of colored fog. The series is an eye popping portrayal of a shadow parliament in which each piece feels as if withholding a spiritual power on the verge of being unleashed.

C.A.V.E. Gallery * 1108 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice CA 90291
phone: 310 450 6960 * web:

Exhibition Dates: March 15 thru APRIL 6, 2014
Please join us for the Opening Reception: Saturday, March 15, 6 - 9pm
For the collectors' preview and additional information please email: 
I have now finished up all the new work for my upcoming gallery show at Cave in LA! I'm very happy with the new body of work and I wanted to show it off in Portland before it all packed up and left town. I threw a little preview party at Get Happy Studios and hung the work for people to come have a sneak peak.. Thought I'd post a few flix of the opening to tantalize before the actual opening..

I've included one new piece from the show at the end of the post.. Hope you enjoy!

This is one of the final pieces for the show

Director of Geospatial Intelligence
22x40" smoke bomb, watercolor and acrylic on wood panel, 2014