If watching paint dry is the epitome of tedium, watching paint remain wet turns out to be the opposite — magnetically compelling — in Ezra Johnson’s stop-motion animations.
In Johnson’s work, painting happens and keeps happening. Each iteration of a work on canvas becomes a filmed frame, one link on a chain or — more true to their forward-thrusting energy — one car on a long train, continuously snaking forward. Johnson’s works are driven by the momentum of their own ceaseless making.
“Leaves” (2010) reads like a plein-air sketch, a 30-second loop of fall foliage fluttering downward like so many fiery eyes. In the more piercing “Angry Sea” (2016), block-letter curse words churn up like flotsam from roiling patchwork waves, to the disturbing, disjunctive accompaniment of a laugh track.
Young Projects, Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave. #B230, West Hollywood, (323) 377-1102, through June 3. Open Tuesday through Friday, and by appointment Monday and Saturday. www.youngprojectsgallery.com
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