On view: Tempest by John K. Lawson

Tempest (2007), 9 panels, salvaged, flood damaged sketches from 1981 – 2007 traced over with ink, sealed with encaustic wax, 9’ x 9′

John K. Lawson was born in Birmingham, England in 1962. He first came to America on a student exchange program in marine engineering at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. His artistic abilities were encouraged there and he returned to England two years later to concentrate on landscape painting. Eventually, Lawson was drawn back to the Deep South and soon became part of an underground art culture in Baton Rouge and New Orleans that included working in tattoo, T-shirt, and mural designs long before these mediums became mainstream.

In August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina submerged Lawson’s studio and destroyed 25 years’ worth of artwork, photographs, film, and ephemera. It was six weeks before he was allowed to return to New Orleans and sort through his personal belongings. Tempest is one of the collage pieces Lawson created from the reworked remnants found in his studio. The piece explores the rebirth, acceptance, and growth of both New Orleans (often called Crescent City) and the artist in the wake of the natural disaster. It was first shown at Honfleur Gallery as part of his solo exhibition, Fragile, November 2008 – January 2009. Since Katrina, Lawson has moved north, where he divides his time between the city space of New York and the rural life in Massachusetts.

John K. Lawson is one of a handful of carefully chosen local, national, and international artists represented by Honfleur Gallery year-round. The piece on display is not for sale but the gallery has other available work from the artist. For more information or to set up a viewing of the work, please email arts@archdc.org, call (202)-631-6291, or speak the onsite gallery representative.

On view through January 28, 2017.