James Johnston (English musician)
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James Johnston performing at the Avantgarde Festival in Schiphorst, Germany, in August 2009.
|Born||1966 (age 52–53)|
Guildford, Surrey, England
|Instruments||Guitar, electronic organ, vocals, violin, harmonica, piano.|
|Years active||Late 1980s–present|
|Associated acts||Gallon Drunk|
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
Musician and artist James Johnston founded the London-based alternative rock band Gallon Drunk in 1990 as frontman and main songwriter. The group have been active, both recording and touring, to the present, releasing eight studio albums, compilations, and one live album, most recent being 2014's acclaimed 'The Soul Of The Hour'.
Johnston was a member of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds from 2003 to 2008, having originally toured as a guest guitarist with the band in 1994 on the Lollapalooza tour. He has also recorded and toured with a wide variety of other musicians, including Lydia Lunch (both solo and as the band Big Sexy Noise), French alternative rock group Ulan Bator, Barry Adamson, and as a member of legendary Krautrock band Faust, and recording and performing with PJ Harvey. Johnston has contributed scores to numerous film and television projects, the play The Nest, working together with PJ Harvey, and most recently All About Eve stageplay, again with PJ Harvey. He has collaborated with Ken Russell and acted for Olivier Assayas in his award-winning film Clean. Johnston released a solo album, The Starless Room, in November 2016 which was produced by Johann Scheerer.
His turn to painting initially began with working small scale in hotel rooms on tour, subsequently becoming his primary focus as a daily studio practice. A prolific figurative painter, his work has been used on book covers, as album artwork and featured in a variety of international arts publications.
His paintings are both bold and loose, and marked by their striking and rich use of colour. The often unsettling, darkly humorous, and totemic images are based between the everyday and the world of the imagination, yet grounded with a sense of simplicity and beauty. "Painting can be an opportunity to escape to another place, and hopefully create one too".
Solo shows: The Stash gallery, London. 2019.
Group shows; Linear - Gallery 64a. 2018. Extricate - Gallery 64a. 2018. Push The Boat Out - The Art Academy Walworth. 2018. Jo Mama's Alphabet Show - Studio One gallery. 2018. Jo Mama's Second Alphabet Show - A-side B-side gallery. 2018
Featured artist in magazines; Persona #8. France. Sargasso arts magazine (Featured artist and cover art). Germany. Epifanio 2018 edition. Estonia.
Books: The Art of the Murder Ballad. (featured artist) Holland. 'Nadirs' - Tom Buron. (cover art) 'Love is an ancient disease' - M.A. Littler. (cover art).