Exhibit for photographic illustrator John F. Johnson at Appel Gallery

The Appel Gallery will present John F. Johnson’s “A Return to the Island of Dr. Moreau” from August 1 through September 30, 2012. The exhibition is a collection of “manimals” illustrating a whimsical alternative to H.G. Wells’ famous novel The Island of Dr. Moreau.

The Gallery will hold receptions on the Second Saturdays of each month: August 11 and September 8, at 5 p.m.. Gallery talks will be given by the notorious photographic illustrator, John F. Johnson, at 7 p.m., at each reception. The Appel Gallery is located at 931 T Street, Sacramento, CA 95811. Gallery hours are 2-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and by appointment.

The premise of “A Return to the Island of Dr. Moreau” is that H.G. Wells took many liberties with the truth, painting Moreau as a despicable character, of British roots, unmarried, and a borderline psychotic – but, according to Johnson, that was fiction. Johnson has created a “mockumentary” of the origins and ensuing tales of the inhabitants of the island, using photographic illustrations to accompany the text, which he wrote and published.

The Appel Gallery has, over the previous decade, become an important player in the region’s photographic scene. It was the only commercial gallery in Sacramento dedicated solely to fine art photography, providing a rare and intimate glimpse into photography. Recently, the Appel Gallery has expanded to feature other media, including sculpture, ceramics, jewelry and painting.

John F. Johnson graduated from CSU Chico where he majored in Photojournalism. He evolved into a photo illustrator, with the advent of computer graphics. He incorporates and blends his own photographs into whimsical scenarios. His “manimals” loosely populate the story, which covers the last century. To get the genuine look of the early 1900’s, he scans antique photos for manipulation, creating his repertoire of characters. One of his pieces, titled “The Man Behind the Mask,” won a prestigious Award of Excellence at the 2011 State Fair, and went on to be juried into a national show at the ACCI Gallery in Berkeley, CA.

He has won numerous awards and has been a regular contributor to fund raisers such as the annual auctions at KVIE, the Crocker Museum, Viewpoint Gallery, and Roseville’s Blue Line Gallery. He has been nationally published in Color magazine, and has been the subject of interviews in numerous regional publications, including Sierra FoodWineArt magazine.

(Images: John F. Johnson)

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