Johnnie Chatman

Johnnie Chatman Exhibiting at Fraenkel Gallery's "Another West"

This fall, Fraenkel Gallery presents "Another West", curated by American photographer Richard Misrach. Comprised of work by eleven established and emerging artists, the exhibition surveys contemporary approaches to the Western landscape, and features the work of recent MFA Photo/Video graduate Johnnie Chatman.

The artists shown in "Another West" use a variety of strategies to reveal the consequences and aftermath of the American concept of Manifest Destiny. While juxtaposed against an exhibition of Carlton Watkin prints, Chatman's works are in direct dialogue with an array of contemporary artists including Lewis deSoto, Mercedes Dorame, Mishka Henner, Nancy Holt, Zig Jackson, An-My Lê, Meghann Riepenhoff, Ed Ruscha, David Benjamin Sherry, and Tabitha Soren.

Self Portrait , Cascade Falls, 2016

Self Portrait, Cascade Falls, 2016

Johnnie Chatman (B. 1990) is a lens-based artist residing in New York City. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Photography, Video & Related Media from the School of Visual Arts in New York and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Chatman's work has been featured in exhibitions across the United States including at the De Young Museum (San Francisco, CA), Claremont Museum of Art (Claremont, CA), and Black Box Gallery (Portland, OR). He has been the recipient of the Beth Block Travel Grant, School of Visual Arts Alumni Scholarship Award, Alice-Beck Odette Scholarship and a department assistantship from the School of Visual Arts. His work has been featured in publications including PDN EDU, All The Best Alice, Rucksack Magazine, The Bold Italic, VoyageLA and Zoetrope All-Story.

The exhibition, "Another West" will run from Sep. 6th through Oct. 19th, 2019 kicking off Fraenkel's 40th anniversary. The reception will take place on Sep. 12th with a curator-led walkthrough on Saturday, Sep. 14th.

Self Portrait , Grand Canyon, 2016

Self Portrait, Grand Canyon, 2016

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2018 SVA Alumni Scholarship

Congratulations to Julianne Nash and Johnnie Chatman for being selected as recipients of the Alumni Scholarships Awards; and to Naixin Xu for the Thomas Reiss Memorial Award. Reviewed and rated by an alumni panel, the Alumni Society Board of Directors awards aid to the completion of final projects. The Society manages 26 annual scholarships that provide merit based support earmarked for specific academic programs and need based support. The assortment of scholarships allows the Society to provide assistance across majors, programs and class years -- touching more students lives every year. The Society’s flagship scholarship program is the annual Alumni Scholarship Awards program. In 2017, 78 projects were funded a total of $83,400.


Agglomeration, by Julianne Nash, is at once an immensely personal project in regards to loss, trauma, and personal mortality; while at the same time references the breakdown of human and logarithmic computer vision. Within this series I contend with my fears of inheriting a degenerative form of vision loss by utilizing computerized image stacking algorithms to create digitally manipulated images that are difficult to visually comprehend. I intentionally confuse the patterns that the computer relies on to create a cohesive image by using tools made to blend images based on similarities to force them to blend on differences thus causing the computer to fail in the manner in which it is “supposed” to see.


 I Forgot Where We Were; is here, by Johnnie Chatman, acts a meeting place for two bodies of work, I Forgot Where We Were… and where we were is here. Together the elements within the series use constructs and idioms of the West and western landscape photography as allegorical elements to facilitate a conversation on black identity as it reconfigures itself against media, historical, and transglobal narratives. The work opens up a dialogue on selfhood and place through the creation of an ambiguous space where a seemingly romantic fascination is met with a critical examination of the past and present through representations of history, time and the landscape.


Naixin Xu is the recipient of the Thomas Reiss Memorial Award Fund which was established in 2003 in memory of Thomas Reiss (MFA 1993 Photography and Related Media) by his brother, Richard M. Reiss. An avid environmentalist, Tom passed away in August 2002 in a boating accident in Thailand. This annual award is designated to support a thesis project by a final-year MFA Photography, Video and Related Media major whose project addresses a humanitarian issue.

The Westbound Journey (working title) is an 1-1.5 hour long observational and photographic non-narrative film, focusing on a cross-country journey of commodities, which are transported to Tibet by a truck driver, from a small trade city in southeast China to Tibet. The aim is to present, from an observer’s view, a fluid subtle status of the culture itself, struggling between the old and the new. 


SVA Alumni Society, Inc. is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation which works to provide support for SVA’s most promising students.The Society works in conjunction with the Alumni Affairs and Development office at the School of Visual Arts serving as the vehicle for granting student scholarships and soliciting donations to fund the scholarships. Due to support from the School of Visual Arts, 100% of all donations to the Alumni Society go directly to the education and financial needs of current SVA students.

Current Student Johnnie Chatman featured in Francis Ford Coppola's magazine Zoetrope


Fall guest designer and photographer Richard Misrach has curated a selection of images from  Johnnie Chatman's upcoming thesis project, "I Forgot Where We Were..." into the upcoming Fall 2017 issue of Zoetrope magazine. The feature will showcase a series of his self portraits, where he uses constructs and idioms of the West and western landscape photography as allegorical elements to conduct a dialogue about black identity as it reconfigures itself against media, historical, and transglobal narratives.

Be sure to check out the Notes on Design section to read more on why Richard Misrach chose to include this work in the upcoming issue.


Images courtesy of Johnnie Chatman. 

Images courtesy of Johnnie Chatman. 

For those in the San Francisco area, alongside fellow contributing artist Wesaam Al-Badry,  Johnnie Chatman will be participating in a dialogue with Richard Misrach at the release party on Wednesday Nov. 1st. The gathering will being hosted at Cafe Zoetrope in North Beach from 6-8 pm. It will be a delightful evening of literature and art, and of course plenty of food and wine.

For more details on the event and to rsvp, please click here. 


Image Courtesy of Zoetrope. 

Image Courtesy of Zoetrope. 

Zoetrope: All-Story is an American literary magazine that was launched in 1997 by Francis Ford Coppola and Adrienne Brodeur. All-Story intends to publish new short-fiction. Zoetrope: All-Story recently received the National Magazine Award for Fiction, the highest honor due an American periodical, for Anthony Marra's story "The Grozny Tourist Bureau.". With each issue a guest artist is chosen to construct the quarterly’s issues art directions. Past designers have included Agnes Varda, David Bowie, Gus Van Saint, Helmut Newton, Olafur Eliasson, Mickalene Thomas, Ryan McGinness, Martin Parr, John Baldessari and a plethora of creatives across mediums.  

To purchase your copy and find out more about the upcoming issue, please click here.

Upcoming Exhibition at the Re: Art Show featuring Faculty Grahame Weinbren, current students, and alumni.

Guest Curated by faculty member Wardell Milan and alum, Melvin Harper. The works in ‘Haphazard Paradigm’ (the 14th edition of the Re: Art Show) look to question the deep cultural identities a person invests in race, gender, and nationality.

A combination of video art, installation, sculpture, etc., the exhibition will feature work by Grahame Weinbren, a pioneer of interactive art and faculty member alongside projects by thesis student Johnnie Chatman and alums Sullivan Gardner, Melvin Harper, Anders Jones and the international women's collective Et.Alia (comprised of class of 2016 grads Ala d'Amico, Jiwon Choi, Netta Laufer, Kelsey Lynn and Sara Meghdari.)

The opening reception will take place on Saturday September 9th, 2017 from 6 to 10pm, with many of the artists expected to be in attendance. Running through October 8th, the Re: Art Show is open weekends from 12pm to 6pm at 630 Flushing Ave in Brooklyn.

For more information on Haphazard Paradigm please click here.


The Re: Art Show is an ever-evolving, recurrent, curatorial project spearheaded by alumni of the program Erin Davis and Max C Lee. Housed within the now-defunct portions of the former Pfizer Pharmaceutical factory in Brooklyn, Re: Art Show brings together an abnormally wide breadth of artists in an abnormal environment.

For more information of the Re: Art show click here. 

Image courtesy of the Re: Art Show.

Image courtesy of the Re: Art Show.