Ben Johnson

The artist Ben Johnson working on a canvas with a panoramic view of Liverpool from the river

Ben discussing his work during his residency at the Walker Art Gallery.

Ben Johnson was born in Llandudno, north Wales in 1946. He studied at the Royal College of Art, London.  His first solo exhibition was held in New York in 1969, and since then he has shown widely in Britain (including twice at the John Moores exhibitions of contemporary painting at The Walker Art Gallery Liverpool), the rest of Europe and the USA.

Ben’s paintings are concerned with architecture. Although they are very detailed and appear realistic, he does not regard himself as a photorealist. He represents cities from viewpoints that it would not be possible to see in reality, sometimes subtly manipulating their topography to create an ‘ideal’ view. In the case of Liverpool, for example, the Goodison Park and Anfield football grounds have been brought closer together so that both appear in the painting. The cities in Ben’s paintings also appear quite still, shown without dirt, traffic or people. 

He was made an honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1990, the only contemporary painter to be so honoured, for his contribution to the public understanding of contemporary architecture. Indeed, much of his work has been commissioned by architects. 

For several years Ben has been working on a series of paintings of cities. Those completed so far included representations of Paris, Hong Kong, Jerusalem, Zurich and Chicago.  

Ben Johnson's website