There Goes The Neighbourhood
Johan Potma lives in Berlin, recently became a dad and has an imagination bubbling with creatures we feel warm and fuzzy about. We hope this interview inspires you to reconnect with your forgotten imaginary friends.
Tell me more about this Berlin gallery? Where is it? Who is it for and what do you show?
Johan: The Gallery we are about to open is the brand new Zozoville gallery. I currently own 3 galleries here in Berlin, where I exhibit and sell my own work. Two of the stores we are currently moving into one big new one. So soon the set up will be 2 galleries. One gallery for just showing and selling artwork, and the other, named “the Cheese Mountain Tragedy”, is the studio and gallery where I also work.
Tell me about this Fearless Character? She is ADORABLE!
Johan: This one is inspired by my daughter Ilya. I love seeing her explore the world, and this particular painting came to mind after seeing her experience the sea for the first time. She was quite unsure what to make of that big wet thing. She would stand close to the water and look at the tide, which was very small, come rolling in and out. She did not like it, and was way more comfortable in the little plastic bathtub we brought along. Still fearless though ;)
Also whats with Grumpy the Breakfast? Whats his story?
Johan: The sketch of Grumpy, is part of a whole lot of sketching I am doing for a children’s book I am working on together with the Umbilical Brothers. I won’t tell you too much about it because we are still working things out, but this character came up in my sketchbook and i just had to paint him. It was one of those sketches that jumped out to me.
Your work has a whimsical humour thats sweet yet absurd...how do you gain inspiration to keep this humour in check?
Johan: Humour has always been a part of my work, as it is part of me i guess. i love coming up with variations on themes, come up with interesting twists to everyday situations. I think in essence this is what humour / comedy does. It comes from loving to be playful with whatever is on my path.
Any weird dreams lately?
Johan: I did dream about all of my neighbours from my building being in a Yoga group wearing matching Sci-fi like spandex outfits. Any dream interpreters out there that want to enlighten me about the meaning of that one?
See more of Johan's work here