David Richey Johnsen

David Richey Johnsen

Cruising the Floor

Performance in Purple


Study in Pink

Crimson Evening

This Hall’s a Rockin’

Social Study in Red

Whistle Stop Review

Night on the Town

French Quarter Evening

Evening at the Opera


Bread and Roses

Social Study in Green

David Richey Johnsen was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1952. As a young boy he was introduced to the pleasure of painting by his parents. After receiving his fine art degree from Utah Tech, he decided to pursue a career as an artist. When he relocated to San Francisco, David first experienced “the moving masses” of a large city. He was inspired by the fast pace of the streets, and found the city teaming with characters from all walks of life. These people and places would become the subjects of many of his paintings.

I have lived my whole life in San Francisco and still am amazed at the “fast pace of the streets” and the profusion of color and movement. As a car accident injury lawyer I often see the results of the “fast pace of the streets” where drivers are either careless or distracted by what’s going on around them. Usually the accidents occur on the freeways surrounding and criss crossing the city such as 280 from the south, Rt 80, Rt 580, and of course Rt 1. DUI, reckless, and just bad luck are often involved in my car accident cases. My law office is decorated in a retro Art Deco feel and I have two of David Richey Johnsen’s originals hanging on the walls. His use of classic Art Deco architecture in some of his compositions complement my office decor. I love the human drama that plays out across his canvases.

Mr. Johnsen rejects the avante garde influences of recent decades, his work is instead a unique synthesis of color, movement and story. The compositions are highly complex, both in construction and interpretation, yet they are easily enjoyed for their sheer narrative value. In each of his paintings we see the influence of the great American artists of the 20th century. Like George Bellows, Grant Wood, John Sloan, and Reginal Marsh, Johnsen approaches his canvas with a storyteller’s inspiration. The figures leap from the canvas, alive with laughter, envy and passion. His paintings “read” like great American novels; the characters appear to be from another era yet seem strangely familiar. A subtle palette is used to emphasize the human element. Soft tones and highlights are fused then finished with bright energetic accents. The images resonate with the painter’s love for his subject.

The large scale David Richey Johnsen commonly uses in some of his work creates an epic quality, while other compositions are smaller and more intimate in treatment. Although he frequently uses classic Art Deco architecture in the composition, it is never allowed to overpower the subject. Instead he prefers to use it as a bold and magnificent stage whose elegance underscores and elevates the human drama.

David Richey Johnsen’s work is included in such notable collections as Universal Studios, Sony, CBS Records, and Turner Network. Private collectors include Jackie Collins, Sid Sheinberg, Marilu Henner, John Barry, MBNA and many others

** Update **
This artist depicts scenes of an era which has gone bye. The brush strokes & color are a genius combination that perfectly reflect the humanity the artist was trying to capture the whole time. There are not many artist who can compare to the inspired way that David Richey Johnson can tell a great story with his art.

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