Art / Illustration
With his distinctive airbrushing method and ravenous attention to detail, Doug Johnson’s art owned the 1970s and 1980s. Making heavy use of dreamy colors, exceptional hard lighting accents and the round warmth of cartoons, Johnson’s art is nothing short of an eye-popping, psychedelic experience. Far from the garish excesses of other illustrators of his time, Johnson’s approach successfully balanced refinement and his altered point of view. He has a knack for making the subjects of his art seem simultaneously lifelike and fantastical. It can be seen in album covers he produced for rock groups Ike & Tina Turner and Judas Priest. For the Turners, Johnson aptly captured the group’s international fame and coupled it with their elaborate, high-energy stage show. With Judas Priest, Johnson was able retain his classis style and inject it simultaneously with baleful subjects, more in line with the sinister qualities of heavy metal. Johnson is versatile. He made film posters for epic films like 1900, designed the cover for the 1972 Manhattan Yellow Pages and has fielded work for scores of clients including Life, Esquire and Time magazines, numerous advertising accounts and record sleeves.