Spencer Johnson

15th Annual ARC Salon (2020-2021)

Spencer Johnson

United States

I was born in 1989 in Spokane, WA. Currently I live and work in Đà Nẵng, Vietnam. My desire is to contribute to the greater body of stone sculpture based on realism. Living in Vietnam has allowed me to pursue this desire exclusively.

The start of my career in sculpture was born out of illness. I began by working for several years sculpting small wood objects inspired by my neighborhood. It gave me a sense of accomplishment during a season when my body didn’t allow me to do much else. Eventually an opportunity arose for me to study wood sculpture under two master sculptors at a small workshop in central Vietnam. This experience was foundational in my development of practicing patience and precision in my work.

Upon completing my studies in wood I learned of the abundance of stone located near a mountain outside of  Đà Nẵng, VN. It was always my dream to work in stone, so I set up a basic studio and began teaching myself. I have been sculpting stone ever since.

My work is largely defined by the stone. I often view stones like a passageway, through which seemingly normal objects or scenes undergo metamorphasis, transforming into something more imaginative than their counterparts. Because of the texture it provides visually, I prefer to use the raw edges of a stone to help frame or establish a base for each sculpture. I try to incorporate the raw edges into the composition whenever possible – knowing their unique nature cannot be duplicated. The edges serve as a chaotic contrast to the order of each design.

The subject of my work varies. With each piece I strive to extract as much imagination as possible, even when sculpting simple subject matter such as a household artifact. I often recreate items or scenes connected to my childhood environment, relying on nostalgia and aestheticism to guide me in the composition of the image within each stone.


* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 15th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.