San Francisco, CA
On my Cosmos Series:
When I first saw the photographs taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, something profound shifted inside of me – as if I had suddenly found something I knew intimately, yet didn’t know I had lost. The pictures of deep space beckoned to me, or rather, its gravity pulled me inexorably into it. The beauty, color and movement, the astonishing science and ultimate mystery of the cosmos were like songs that called to be sung. And so I did, through paint.
I do not paint the cosmos literally, but study the science and look at the photographs until something hits me viscerally. From this place, I begin. Whether they are the spectacular images of what the telescope captures, such as swirling nebulae, stars being born, galaxies colliding or supernovae exploding; or more theoretical concepts such as black holes, dark energy, the big bang or the cosmic web, these all live as a moving force inside me that guides my paintbrush, directs my choices and brings itself to life on my panels.
Combining my studies of astronomy while painting from this place of inspiration is an alchemical process - something new is created. The cosmos is a place we all intuitively know - from our personal wonder of looking up at a starry night sky, to an ancestral recognition that we, and our planet are connected to something much greater. Echoing the blank panels I start on, I begin with a sense of vast emptiness inside me, and the act of painting creates a universe itself.
NY born and raised, Johanna Baruch studied at the NY Art Students League and privately before moving to San Francisco, where she earned her degree from New College of California. To continue her artistic studies, she traveled to the Middle East and Europe, learning the techniques of the Old Masters which she now incorporates into her work. Johanna paints in oil on wood or aluminum panel, creating luminescent surfaces through multiple layers of translucent colored glazes. She exhibits her paintings in galleries and museums around the country, receiving recognition and earning awards. Her paintings and prints are in private and corporate collections internationally. She serves on the Board of Governors of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, and is a former trustee of the California College of the Arts, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. and former member of the SFMOMA Accessions Committee.
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