“… On lengthier inspection they may love it, they may hate it and they may or may not understand it. But the thrill is to make them stop and stare.” says Johny.
Johny paints from his own life’s adventures, so if you connect with his work it is probably because you have been to the same places; sailed the same oceans or skied the same mountains.
His work has been described as “abstract on reality” and his paintings are easy to understand as there is no hidden agenda – he just asks you to look at things in new ways.
When Johny settled in Chamonix beneath Mont Blanc and the Aiguille du Midi there was no art gallery for him to offer up his work to so, using the French word ‘entrepreneur’, he opened his own. The first gallery was a small shed-like affair in the car park of the Grand Montets. Eight years later Gallery Midnight was an established and welcomed part of downtown Chamonix life.
Apres-ski at the gallery was often busier than some of the local bars and it was the only place in the Alps to find modern fine art of the Alps themselves. Johny declares “I can only paint what I have been a part of, so part of my job was to go skiing every day.”
Johny has been a familiar face in the world of snowsports for over two decades now. He has been involved with many charity events and has painted live for auctions. More recently Johny exposed himself on a wall in South Kensington! Having finished a large ski mural for the ski company Erna Low he realised that Francis Bacon’s studio had been right next door, so to pay homage, he decided to paint his portrait. This became a real talking point on social media with people assuming it was a Banksy! But no it was a ‘Johny Midnight‘.
The council asked that it should be painted over, but stopped insisting after it was featured on a BBC documentary about Francis Bacon himself (A Brush With Violence). The actor Terence Stamp, who was procured to talk about Bacon, seemed to find the portrait to be quite a likeness.
When Johny arrived back in the UK five years ago to set up Gallery Midnight London, people could not understand why he would want to swap Chamonix or the Caribbean for Balham. But if you look at Johny’s work of Battersea Power Station, the Tooting Lido, Balham tube station, Bellvue or Ritherdon Road – it’s easy to see that he can find the fun and beauty in everything around him.