"Matthew Ryan Johnson’s artwork is a layered and complex drawing-based compendium of his experience processing his own mortality in the wake of his diagnosis with cancer. He employs a variety media, seemingly personal yet mythic symbols, as well as a frenetic visual language, to create a body of work that is both of and about the diagnosis, processing, treatment, and recovery stages of a serious illness, contracted at a young age. He often employs and appropriates primary source materials including medical bills, x-rays, and “get well” cards, in a poignant effort to both illustrate and obfuscate the fragility of his, and our existence. " -- Amy Sacksteder 2016
Post-traumatic grief is explored in the wake of my September 2015 cancer diagnosis through drawings, paintings, and installations. Layered media, marks and symbols work as conduits connecting viewers to me and my relationship with death and a failing body. Forms, diagrams and objects work in tandem with line to attempt to decode indigestible themes of place, time, and mortality in the mind of the living.