A reverence for art history is evident when looking at the witty and ultra-virtuosic work of Matt Johnson. Even though his practice is characterized by a joking quality, he nudges towards the sublime, creating a conceptually interesting relationship between something humorously present and abstract. In Bather, Johnson tips his hat to the common art subject often pursued by canonical artists of the past, such as Degas, Matisse, Cézanne, and Ingres. He creates the illusion of a carved watermelon bather by casting the work in Hydrocal, resulting in a keen iteration of a common, if not iconic, subject. Matt Johnson trained in the New York Studio Program, Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, and the University of California Los Angeles. Important recent group shows include Thing: New Sculptures from Los Angeles at The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and Uncertain States of America – American Art in the 3rd Millennium at Astrup Fearnley, Oslo. His work has also been shown at venues such as Bard College, New York; Serpentine Gallery, London; Reykjavik Art Museum; Herning Art Museum; CCA Warsaw; Le Musée de Sérignan; Songzhuan Art Center, Beijing; and The Saatchi Gallery, London. Matt Johnson lives and works in Los Angeles.