William Johnston is an abstract expressionist known for his distinct, fractal-esque style that works to “fill the mind with inspiration.” His paintings are multifaceted and resemble both landscapes and portraits, although they firmly remain in the realm of the abstract. Johnston states that “thousands of images are hidden in his work,” hinting at the resolution and depth that characterize his paintings. This depth is emphasized through the intense marbling Johnston applies to his oil paints, which allows him to retain the lively, saturated quality of his work while avoiding mixing and smearing the detailed lines and forms that bring his paintings to life.
In his attempt to capture an almost Biblical grandiosity, Johnston has turned his work towards both the organic and the synthetic. His intricate patterns hearken to the natural complexity of organic forms while also insistently hinting at the future possibilities of the digital world. Aesthetically and thematically, Johnston shows the influence of the vast landscapes of the American Southwest, the charm of Van Gogh, style of Pollock, and imagination of Monet.