Pamela Michelle Johnson strives through her work to communicate the complexity of the human condition by drawing from her own experiences and reflections on the world around her. Her work juxtaposes ideas and emotions that are commonly experienced in our contemporary culture in an effort to encourage deeper reflection and awareness.
The American Still Life series follows in the tradition of still life painters throughout history. In this series Pamela created a still life for our time, based on foods prevalent in the American culture. When confronted with a six foot tall canvas of enormous and precariously balanced hamburgers, waffles, doughnuts, or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches the viewer is forced to recognize that the work is about more than alluring junk food and is actually questioning many of our cultural ideals and social norms. Pamela’s fascination with the phenomena of mass-produced and mass-consumed foods comes from viewing these artifacts of our culture as indicative of the state of our culture as a whole. Her goal is to invoke reflection on embracing a culture of complete and instant gratification while ignoring the consequences of our indulgences. Pamela’s skill and craftsmanship is at its best in this series. Her use of intense light and shadow coupled with the exaggerated scale and unique compositions takes classic realism and gives it a contemporary twist.