Jacob Johnson was raised in Monona County, IA, and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 3D Design from the University of Iowa. He was a skilled craftsman and worked as a furniture fabricator for designer Zak Rose in Chicago. He died suddenly on December 31, 2016, at the age of 30. The images included in this show were selected by his wife, Anjali Pinto, to represent his unique aesthetic. They were chosen from more than 30,000 pictures taken from 2012 - 2016.
Johnson made photographs for the pure pleasure of creating, never imagining they would reach beyond the screens of his beloved Instagram community. After his death, these snapshots act as a map with which his audience can navigate his passions and retrace his travels.
Johnson’s photographic skill blossomed during what would be the last years of his life. Influenced and encouraged by Pinto, a professional photographer, he took more pictures, and grew more technically savvy as he continued to shoot regularly and experiment with different cameras. His untimely death cut short his hope to move into photography professionally, or forge a new path wherein the culmination of his many skills, including woodworking, design, sewing and photography would lead to sustainable self-employment. He often dreamed out loud, expressing his desire to eventually live and work as an artist.
Johnson may not have introduced himself as an artist, but that did not stop him from being one. The viewer has a special opportunity to be with Johnson as he pulls over for a vintage car, admires his childhood surroundings in Iowa, discovers a new landscape while travelling, or documents an admiring gaze from his wife. Each of his pictures represents a moment in which he stopped and took pleasure in noticing the world around him. His photographs are an extension of the thoughtful, meticulous and visionary man he was.