“I am endlessly inspired by the construct and the idea of time and timing and how moments, fragments of time and memories have such an impact on us as humans.”
By Tatty Martin | 07 Jun 2022
Johanna Bath is someone who seeks to preserve transient moments through painting. Playing with concepts of time, visibility and movement, her works have a distinct fuzziness to them, in which subjects become blurred and lightly distorted. Johanna explores her own memories, and from them, she injects her figurative works with a strong sense of emotion.
Johanna recently joined the platform and already has a vast portfolio consisting of portraits, botanical works and abstract paintings. We caught up with Johanna to learn more about her interest in capturing moments of tenderness, her portrayal of time and her key artistic influences.
How would you describe your style and the work you create?
I would say, my art can be described as poetic and feminine, also gentle and dreamy but with a certain edge. I want to create pieces that are the opposite of a loud and aggressive image but that contain the same intensity by being ultimately tender.
Tell us a bit about the inspiration behind your practice.
I am endlessly inspired by the construct and the idea of time and timing and how moments, fragments of time and memories have such an impact on us as humans and how they can define the direction of our lives. I find it super interesting to create art about a topic that is invisible but also ever-present. Time is something abstract but becomes visible the moment we are in the present and create memories – to make an object that is able to transfer this phenomenon and make time felt is my goal.
How do you go about choosing the subjects and scenes for your paintings?
Its a gut feeling. I collect a variety of images and wait for this spark of inspiration. Its an instant feeling of “I need to paint this”. I have always been drawn to faces but in recent years I also enjoy doing florals, hands or even abstract compositions.
How has your practice evolved in recent years?
It hasn’t really changed. I still paint intuitively and rarely plan the image, apart from a rough sketch. I want to be open to the change and accidents that can happen along the way.
What’s an average day like in your studio?
Coffee, mails in the morning, walking the dog. Then I usually start late morning with prepping a canvas, cleaning the studio or getting back to a canvas from the day before. I need to approach my practice slowly, sometimes I go through my archive of images to kickstart my inspiration.
What/Who are your key influences?
There are so many for different reasons. Franz Hals and Caravaggio for painting skin so beautifully, Max Beckmann, Manet and Felix Vallotton for shapes and colour, Bacon for his bold and raw beauty, Neo Rauch for making nightmares look so fascinating, Gerhard Richter for his diversity and the blurred effect, Peter Doig, Michaël Borremans, Luc Tuymans…the list is endless. The first artwork I remember perceiving consciously was Peter Blakes “on the balcony” in my 7th grade art class – it is one of my favorites to this day.
Who are some Rise Art artists with work you’re enjoying at the moment?
I love Hidetaka Suzuki’s and Amy Dury’s work.
Are you currently working on any exciting new projects?
I had a phase of doing small, serial work in the past month and I really crave working on a huge canvas again. Large formats are always the most fun and also the hardest.