System always degrading,
always under attack,
always fighting futility.
Keep moving for as long as you can.

Installation view at 266 w 37th street NYC. December 2016

24in x 18
Oil on canvas

Oil on canvas

50in x 40in
Oil on canvas

24in x 18in
Oil on canvas


My work explores the constructed "self" through the singular lens of the degrading body. I have always had an interest in different strategies of representation and my recent paintings are an amalgamation of both figurative and semi-abstract representations of the human form in ways that illustrate the contrasting elements of the physical and psychological identity. I am fascinated with narratives that recontextualize self-identity, take away ideas of free will and absolute individuality and allow identity to be seen within a deterministic construction; a small part of a larger system as opposed to autonomous.

We are the sum of our parts. Nothing more.


Johnny Thornton is human
Johnny Thornton is an artist living and working in New York City. Born in Connecticut, Johnny Thornton spent his childhood in Johannesburg, South Africa, before moving to Tucson, Arizona, and eventually went on to study Fine Arts at the University of Arizona. Johnny Thornton earned his Master’s degree in Fine Arts at Parsons the New School for Design in 2012. Johnny Thornton has had work exhibited throughout the United States. Currently, Johnny Thornton works out of his studio in Brooklyn, NY.

(Johnny Thornton wrote this about himself in 3rd person, his usual biographer went on vacation)


EMRN: 10202

Physical Exam

GENERAL: Alert male in no acute distress.Reaches conclusions with dissociative reasoning.

EYES: Appear grossly normal with nonicteric sclera and intact EOM. Pupils appear normal. Astigmatism present in both eyes.

ENT: Oropharynx appears normal. Though normal is grossly unimpressive

NECK: Cervical nodes are normal. No thyroid abnormalities or masses are appreciated. No carotid bruits are noted

CARDIAC: RRR without murmur. Patient admits to heartbreaks, no evidence present.

LUNGS: Respiratory effort is normal. Adequate breath sounds noted bilaterally. Clear to A&P bilaterally. No CVAT is present. Breaths polluted air

ABDOMEN: Bowel sounds are normal. Chest wall is nontender to palpation. No hepatosplenomegaly is appreciated. Full of shit.

EXTREMITIES: Warm without cyanosis, contusions, clubbing or edema. Ideological extremes present.

SKIN: No rashes are noted. Skin reenforces identity based on socially constructed archetypes.

NEURO: Grossly normal. Cranial nerves are normal. Deep tendon reflexes are normal. Abnormal ability to find meaning in the meaningless

PSYCH: Alert and oriented. Mood is normal. Nihilistic tendencies.

For all questions, pricing inquiries or unsolicited critiques-



MFA, 2012, Parsons, the New School for Design, New York, NY, Visual Art

BFA, 2009, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Solo Exhibitions

2018- Corporeality, Spaceworks Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2017- sleepers, BAU Gallery, Beacon, NY
2016- cells, Chashama Gallery on 37th St, New York, NY
2016- Self-Portraits of Other People, Galerie Wohnung, Brooklyn, NY
2010- The Machines are Winning, TAC Gallery, Tucson, AZ
2009- nameless, Lionel Rombach Gallery, Tucson, AZ
2009- Untitled/Unfound, TAC Gallery, Tucson, AZ

Selected Group Exhibitions

2017- Et Tu, Art Brute?, Andrew Edin Gallery, New York, NY
2017- Identity in Flux, Spaceworks Gallery, Brooklyjn, NY
2017- With the Neighbors, Ground Floor Gallery, Brooklyjn, NY
2017- RE:patterns, La Bodega Studios, Brooklyn, NY
2017- We Deliver, La Bodega Studios, Brooklyn, NY
2017- Art for Aleppo, Catalyst Gallery, Beacon, NY
2017- RECOLLECTIONS, The Shoppe, Brooklyn, NY
2017- Per Aspera ad Astra Pop Up Show. New York, NY
2017- Drums on Paper III, Ground Floor Gallery, Brooklyjn, NY
2016- Dysfunction of Sameness, Gallery 116th, Fayetteville, NC
2016- Drums On Paper II, Rabbit Hole Studios, Brooklyn, NY
2014- Window Shopping, Five Myles Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2013- Vanishing Anatomies (2 person show with AM DeBrincat), Chashama 461 Gallery, New York, NY
2012- A Show of Heads, Limner Gallery, Hudson, NY
2012- (RE)Purpose, The Kitchen, New York, NY,
2011- Look Alike, Parsons Fine Arts, New York, NY
2011- hūmāna, 25 E Gallery, New York, NY
2010- One More Before I Go, TAC Gallery, Tucson, AZ
2010- the process (2 Person Show with Donovan White), TAC Gallery, Tucson, AZ
2010- Rebirth, TAC Gallery, Tucson, AZ
2010- Collectivity, Solar Culture Gallery, Tucson, AZ
2010- Photographs and Free Candy, TAC Gallery, Tucson, AZ
2009- 16, TAC Gallery, Tucson, AZ
2009- Diptychs/ Triptychs, TAC Gallery, Tucson, AZ
2009- Untitled, Lulubell Toys and Gallery, Tucson, AZ
2009- Room 10, La Siesta Hotel, Tucson, AZ
2009- Dimensional Shift, Solar Culture Gallery, Tucson, AZ

Curatorial Projects

2017 - Present Gallery Director/Curator, La Bodega Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2017 RE:patterns, La Bodega Studios, Brooklyn, NY
2015- Anatomy of Desire, Chashama 461 Gallery, New York, NY
2011- hūmāna, 25 E Gallery, New York, NY
2008-2010- Head Curator TAC Gallery, Tucson, AZ


Widewalls, 2017
Johnny Thornton

Artospective, 2017
Paintings by Johnny Thornton

The Culture Trip, 2016
An Interview with Brooklyn-Based Artist Johnny Thornton

The Artist Catalogue, 2016
Artist Interview

The Artist Catalogue, 2015

The Artist Catalogue, 2015
"99 Cents"

Artfile Magazine, 2014
Human Interface- Johnny Thornton in conversation with ArtFile Magazine