Friends & Heroes
Johnny’s standing in the film world has meant that he has frequently met and worked with his ‘Heroes’: high profile and fascinating characters like Elizabeth Taylor and Hunter S. Thompson. Johnny’s character and easy-going humour has meant that these working relationships often turned into firm friendships. A very good example of a hero turned friend is Elizabeth Taylor. Johnny knew Elizabeth well for a number of years. He found her hilarious, and she regarded him as ‘cute’, while respecting his ‘great range’ as an actor.
‘Friends and Heroes’ is Johnny’s debut collection of limited edition art. The collection features people he has known well, and who have inspired him as a person. Each portrait captures how he sees that subject. How they revealed themselves to him.
Across the four images in the debut collection we see ‘Friends and Heroes’ with four very different characters, portrayed as very different people. In the Keith Richards image we can see a hero of the buccaneering, anti-establishment sort: and the inspiration for Captain Jack Sparrow. In complete contrast, with Bob Dylan we see a handsome and heroic artist at the height of his powers, but whose head is bowed; with his eyes and ears open to the issues of humanity. With Al Pacino, Johnny’s image reflects their closeness, and his regard for Al as a sensitive and caring man; albeit with a touch of craziness. While in the iconic Elizabeth Taylor portrait the focus is on her eyes and lips, features at the core of her appeal, and the features most strongly recalled by Johnny.