About Johnny Karwan
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live and work in the historic Haight Ashbury neighborhood in San
Francisco, California, where I operate a multidisciplinary art and
design studio, art factory, detritus rescue, benevolent society and good
My art consists of paintings on paper, canvas and birch panels as well as cutout and painted wood pieces. I'm inspired by my love of pattern, nature, nostalgia, the exotic and moments in life where history, nature and observation meet curiosity, color and imagination. With a wink at the future and a nod to the past, I am inspired in the present.
The first decade of my career was spent as an itinerant artist, traveling and teaching background scene painting techniques for numerous movie and television productions in film and animation studios worldwide.
Following that introduction to the world of commercial art, I began working with international architects and designers and public art commissions creating murals, sculptures and site specific artworks for corporate, public and residential clients.
Designs reflecting my love for pattern, nature, nostalgia, and the exotic, have been licensed for use on textiles, apparel, paper products, ceramics, banners, puzzles, toys, home accessories, and fine art prints.
I’ve exhibited paintings and assemblages in group shows curated by Christopher Brown, Misch Kohn, Richard Shaw, Henry Hopkins, Rolando Castellon, Inez Storer and George Herms.
Clients and commissions include: Hanna-Barbera Films US and Australia, Filmographics, Mexico City, Filman/Gaumont Productions, Madrid, Lucasfiilm/Industrial Light and Magic,Take 5 Productions, Seoul, Korea, The Learning Company/Soft Key Media, Colossal Pictures, San Francisco, Mandarin Oriental Hotels, Grand Hyatt Hotels, Wesin Plaza Hotel Singapore, Georgia Pacific Corporation, Development Bank of Singapore, Pacific Union Realty, Pell Development, San Francisco Mission Dolores, San Diego Port Authority/Lindberg International Airport, Crate and Barrel, Target, Marshall Fields, Nordstrom, Macys, Pottery Barn/Williams Sonoma, Tommy Hilfiger, Baby Dior