Erik Henry Johnson painting at the easel.


Born 1970, Fort Bragg North Carolina


Drawing, painting and other creative pursuits have been a part of Erik’s life as far back as he can remember. With a mother and brothers who played music and were always involving themselves in various art projects and a father who dabbled in photography, exploring the many faces of art seemed a natural thing to do and was encouraged as he grew up.

While his love of art remained constant, how he wanted to express himself as an artist went through many stages through the years. Initially Erik dreamed of being a cartoonist  but eventually that was replaced with the desire to be an animator or an illustrator. It wasn’t until he had moved to Charleston, South Carolina in 1996 and lived there for several years that he began to take notice of fine art and the gallery scene. Though he didn’t initially believe it to be possible he knew that he wanted to be a part of it.

Self-taught, or “a student of independent study”, as he puts it, Erik’s talents range from illustration and photography to contemporary realism. It’s his contemporary realism that caught the eye of mentor and friend Robert Lange, and continues to catch the eye of art lovers and collectors. Active in the Charleston arts scene for the past seven years, Erik’s passion for art led him to make the leap from a traditional day job in 2011 to a full-time focus on art.

Erik’s approach to painting always starts with an idea, not a painting technique. He strives to use common objects to make images that are both beautiful and thought provoking, to present contemporary issues in a poetic manner.

His passion for art and the process of making it continues to grow. In 2013 Erik began leading workshops to share his passion and process with others. He describes himself as “profoundly grateful” to be able to teach as well as for the growing list of collectors and galleries interested in his work.