Chris Johanson playing in Tina Age 13 at the Clarion Alley Block Party, San Francisco, 2007
San Jose, California
|Known for||Graffiti, murals, sculpture, installation art, anda painting|
|Awards||Whitney Biennial exhibition, SFMOMA SECA Art Award|
Johanson was born in suburban San Jose, California in 1968. He grew up skateboarding, attending punk rock shows, drawing, and with a dry yet sharp sense of humor. He has no formal training in art, learning some technique by painting skateboards and houses. He was a prominent 'zine artist, and his publication "Karmaboarder," a skateboarding and art zine he published in the early to late 1980's, helped shape what later became initial well-known works. He moved to San Francisco, California's Mission District in 1989, where he became a member of the local art community, initially drawing cartoons on lampposts and bathroom walls using black Sharpies. In 1994, Johanson did one of the initial board graphic runs for a new San Francisco-based skateboard brand, Anti-Hero, which brought his art to a wider audience. Also, during this time, he played in a band called "Tina, Age 13," which was scrawled on a drawing the band came across randomly. The band toured several times, and record numerous 7" records, an EP called "The Alcoholic Father of My Inner Child," and a full-length LP, "Good Feelings," which remains officially unreleased. In 2004 he and Jo Jackson, an artist and his wife, moved to and bought a home in Portland, Oregon.
Johanson's works, involving expressing urban themes through found and recycled materials and graffiti, are a response to his suburban childhood. Johanson has made a number of site installations, and prefers to work in that medium.
- Chris Johanson: Please Listen I Have Something to Tell You About What Is by Aaron Rose, Sean Kennerly and Jack Hanley, Damiani, Bologna, 2007
- Peaceable Kingdom by Chris Johanson and Johanna Jackson, Nieves, Zurich, 2008
- Chris Johanson: Totalities by Arty Nelson and Chris Johanson, Deitch Projects, New York, 2010
- Chris Johanson by Bob Nickas, Corrina Peipon, Julie Deamer and Jonathan Raymond, Phaidon, London, 2013
- "Chris Johanson". KQED's Spark. April 2003. Retrieved 2007-09-04.
- "Chris Johanson: A Portrait of the Artist as Seer and Poet and Iconoclast and Truthsayer and Cool, Trippy Dude Planet Magazine". WayBack Machine. Archived from the original on 2007-10-28. Retrieved 2004-06-16.
- Jamie Berger (2003-04-10). "Adobe proved fertile ground for 'Mission School' artist". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-09-04.
- "Official Website".
- "Making Sense of Modern Art:Chris Johansen". San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
- Glen Helfand (2002-09-12). "The Mission school:San Francisco's street artists deliver their neighborhood to the art world.". San Francisco Bay Guardian.
- Jack Hanley Gallery - exhibit information and gallery for Chris Johanson
- Chris Johanson's Works in the Dikeou Collection
- Chris Johanson at Kadist Art Foundation
-  Chris Johanson on KQED's Art School, 2014