Award winning artist Stephen Johnston was born in County Down in 1987, graduating from University of Ulster with first class honours in Fine and Applied Art. Johnston’s work explores the relationship between our humanity, changing culture, and the link between them.
Johnston places realistic figures and ordinary objects in unusual contexts, giving new meanings to familiar things while challenging observers’ perceptions of reality. His quirky and thought-provoking work is closely related to surrealism and is inspired by Belgian artists René Magritte and Michaël Borremans, along with photo-realist artist Denis Peterson.
“My work has been particularly inspired by the classic and modern surrealists and from observation of everyday life and objects, such as films, nature, books and stories. I aim to engage the viewer with drama, intrigue and humour.”
Since graduating, Johnston’s work has been selected for display at the Saatchi Gallery in London and he has won a number of awards including the Diageo Emerging Artist Award in 2010, the Towry Award at the National Open Art Competition in 2012, The DeVeres Award at the RHA in 2012, the KPMG best emerging artist at the RUA in 2016 and was shortlisted for the Hennessy Portrait award in 2015 and 2016
Johnston has gained the reputation as one of Ireland’s most promising young artists and his work can be found in many corporate and private collections throughout the world including Ireland, UK, France, US, Asia and Australia.