Tuesday, May 1, 2007
BRANDON “RAGNAR” JOHNSON was born In Roseville, California. The artist moved around much of the west coast of California while growing up, but spent his formative years in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
As a young man, the artist would often spend his weekends painting alongside his Father, a fine artist and photographer.
He spent his teen years playing guitar in punk bands and making illustrations for punk fanzines and concert flyers. He eventually wound up working in the fashion industry which took him to Japan, Mexico, Taiwan and eventually back to Los Angeles. After a brief break from all things “creative” he attended Art Center College Of Design in Pasadena as a Graphic Design student. While there, he began to feel the tug of his illustration roots and his work moved back in that direction.
His work is an amalgam of all of his interests and experiences - film noir, fashion illustration, classic cartoons, the great men's magazine artists, mid century design and architecture, and old Las Vegas.
After graduating with honors from Art Center, a flurry of advertising design work launched his professional career, and shortly thereafter he began working in the animation industry as an art director and character designer for Disney, Nickelodeon, Warner Brothers, and Cartoon Network.
Brandon "Ragnar" Johnson glamorizes the art of seduction in these vibrantly colored, profoundly stylized limited edition fine art prints. His monochromatic voyeurism is a contemporary callback to classic film noir, reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s film “Rear Window.” Ragnar is known for a lurid and sensual style, often personified by overtly virile men and voluptuous harlequin women. His artwork has all the characteristics of classic pulp fiction, and he’s even created an art series based around the glamour of vintage Hollywood movie posters!
Growing up between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, it is no wonder that Ragnar's art is so heavily influenced by the florescent lights and hard shadows of a decidedly mod genre. He began his career in the underground “zine scene”, illustrating for local music publications and designing concert flyers. Ragnar later went on to work in fashion, where he perfected the industry’s distinctive elongated form now typical of his illustrations. After obtaining a degree in graphic design from the esteemed Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, Ragnar launched a lucrative career in the animation industry. He’s worked for such powerhouse studios as Disney, Nickelodeon, Warner Brothers, and Cartoon Network, and has secured a position as one of the most gifted contemporary illustrators of our generation.