Johann is a ball point pen artist, only using the humble biro to create all of his works. focusing on photo-realistic portraiture, I try to bring out the emotion of my pieces through the eyes of the main subject- often breaking the 4th wall for a stark interaction between the viewer and the subject; creating a voyeuristic encounter that strikes the onlooker and forces them into the piece in a empathetic way.
He is concerned with people and their surroundings, a snapshot into their lives- a peepshow if you will, a frank and intimate view into their souls.
Each piece can take between 50-150 hours and using a readily available pen that costs around 40p to make these big pieces with no room/margins for error bring a permanence to them while also making them approachable; everybody has a ball point pen lying around.
Johann is a craftsmen- not feeling constrained fully to photo reproduction but to high light penetrating the dark- giving him a distinct and powerful style that is truly his own
Johann was born and raised in Greenwich London and lives in the seaside town of Whitistable.
Johann suffers from a degenerative skeletal condition called Snapping Scapula Syndrome; caused because of his hyper-mobile arms, his shoulder blades grind, pop & scrape along his back ribs.
'illustrated 2015', truman brewery, brick lane, art fair, 08/06/15-10/06/15
‘platform for emerging artists 5#’, Liverpool street, group show, 18/02/15- 28/02/15
‘young creatives’ Gallery90, Finsbury Park, London, group show, 18/12/14 – 09/01/15
‘the route less travelled’ 17 Floral Street- Covent Garden, Group show, 30/04/14 – 19/05/14
‘Johann Lester Solo’ Number 57 Gallery, Lewisham Way, solo show 13/12/13 – 22/12/13
‘Showcase Cities’ Rich Mix, Bethnal Green- Shoreditch, Group show, 19/12/12
‘Sundae Sundae’ Whitstable High Street, Solo show, 10/08/12