Kirsten Johnson was born on last day of the summer of love to two ex-pat American professors who couldn't have been less hippy. In the time worn tradition of becoming one's parents her work is split between exploring large ideas like her philosopher father but from a very personal and emotionally real position like her psychiatrist nursing prof mom. Her desire to be both an artist and a performer dates back to the age of 5. Today, Kirsten Johnson is a visual artist / performer who makes small films.
She began studying both art and performance at a very young age and assumed that one would eventually win out. It has yet to do so. Before leaving her teens she started working as a professional portraitist as well as an actor appearing in DNA Theatre's extremely experimental works (she was Ophelia in an 8-hour version of Hamlet) as well as the infamous Centre Stage production of Spring Awakening in Toronto.
As a painter, her work appears in private and public collections all over North America, Europe, Australia and Japan. Her work often involves a fusing of her visual work with her strong background in performance. Her work last appeared publicly at Toronto's XEXE Gallery with Catfight and before that in the inaugural show at Art X Life, in Tokyo, Japan.
Her work appears in Leaving Metropolis, a feature film by Brad Fraser and in Stan Rogal's book of short stories, What Passes for Love and she's recently completed a painting for the cover of her father (Philosophy Professor, David Martel Johnson)'s book, How History Made the Mind, published by Chicago's Open Court Books.
In Toronto, Johnson is represented by KWT contemporary.
Performance-wise she has appeared in such films as Cronenberg's eXistenZ, Jeremy Podeswa's Eclipse, and "virtually" by webcam at the Royal Alex as a part of Theatre Gargantua's "Edentity". Most recently she appeared in Daniel MacIvor's "the 83rd".
2009 Catfight XEXE Gallery - Toronto
2008 Halo XEXE Gallery - Toronto
2007 CROCKer XEXE Gallery - Toronto
2006 you can’t see me Rail’s End Gallery - Haliburton
2005 Make Me Artguise Gallery - Ottawa
2005 Recent Paintings The John Brunswick Gallery, Academy of Spherical Arts - Toronto
2003 the girls Hysteria : A Women’s Art Festival - Toronto
2003 touchy-feely The Burston Gallery - Toronto
2001 Comfort Zsa Zsa - Toronto
1999 Recent Paintings Zsa Zsa - Toronto
1994 Reflections on Home Economics Theatre Passe Muraille - Toronto
1993 Lost Saints of Sanctuary Buddies in Bad Times - Toronto
1993 Exepiphany Theatre Passe Muraille - Toronto
2008 Xmas Group show Art x Life Gallery, Asayaga, Tokyo, Japan
2007 Toronto International Art Fair Metro Toronto Convention Centre
2005-07 Something for Everyone XEXE Gallery - Toronto
2006 Beaver Café show la nuit blanche - Toronto
2006 the little white pony show Arthaus Gallery - Calgary
2004 The X Show The Burston Gallery - Toronto
2003 Supernumerary The Fanny Larouche Art Space - Toronto
2001 Art Auction Fashion Cares - Toronto
2000 Artscape Group Show Gallery 1313 - Toronto
1999 20th Century Sideshow Blue Print Gallery - Toronto
1997 Ms. Strangelove McGill Club Gallery - Toronto