Enchanting Rust Rapture Art Exhibition Opens in Austin

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Photographer Johnny Stevens Captures the Secrets and Essence of Rusted “Rat Rod” cars for his New Art Series

1948 International KBL Master

These cars are hot rods whose exterior finish has been subjected to harsh weather elements…the blend of old paint and rust produces a stunning patina which I capture through my photography to create this special collection of work called Rust Rapture.

Artist and Photographer Johnny Stevens reveals hidden art in the bold designs, textures and colors on “rat rod” cars in his Rust Rapture collection. Large art prints will be exhibited for the very first time in Austin from June 1st through June 29th at the O2 Gallery and Project Space (Flatbed building) in Austin. A special “Meet the Artist” reception will be held on Friday, June 12th from 6-8 p.m. at the gallery, and is open to the public. Stevens’ exceptional artwork is a must see for anyone interested in experiencing dynamic imagery derived from the exterior finishes of vintage rat rods ranging from a 1924 Ford Model T to a 1966 Chevy sedan. All images are available for purchase.

The idea for the Rust Rapture series began five years ago when Stevens first attended the Lonestar Rod and Kustom Car Round-up in Austin, Texas. A “rat rod” is a style of custom car that imitates the early hot rods of the 1930s through the early 1960s. “Rat Rods” however, have not been restored, and their exteriors have been subjected to the exquisite demise of Mother Nature. Stevens was absolutely blown away by the spectacular beauty he discovered in the organic finishes of “rat rods.” His photography exhibition features works that are each a unique amalgamation of textures and colors, creating bold movement and intense mystery.

“These cars are hot rods whose exterior finish has been subjected to harsh weather elements - - rain, heat, sun and occasionally an owner’s belt sander. The blend of old paint and rust produces a stunning patina which I capture through my photography to create this special collection of work called Rust Rapture,” adds photographer Johnny Stevens.

In Stevens’ abstract work, he strives to “reveal simplicity within the chaos”. He starts by following the rules, but only in anticipation of breaking them. “Rules are made to be broken, and Abstract is the perfect genre to exercise that right,” says Stevens. His philosophy is to do whatever works best for the image, often tossing the photographic mores of composition out the window. Stevens is driven to reveal new perspectives of ordinary images that are normally overlooked. The collection continues to gain international notoriety, as many of Stevens’ pieces grace the walls of boardrooms, living rooms and art galleries across the nation. The project has been six years in the making. This abstract art form is perfect for large print display in any office, conference room, hotel, or residence.

Stevens recently shot new work in April during the LoneStar Rod and Kustom Car Round-Up, one of the largest hot rod and custom car shows in the country. The show hosts hundreds of hot rod owners in what has become virtually an annual pilgrimage to Austin.

Rust Rapture was also recently featured in Austin’s Vetta Homes magazine February 2015 issue and the April 2015 issue of Austin Way. He will also appear on a Time Warner Cable News special segment, Local Wonders, which will air in May.

Past Gallery exhibits include:
Caldwell Arts Council Gallery, Lenoir, NC - April, 2015
Dell Jewish Community Center Art Gallery, Austin - June 2014
Artist Haven Gallery, Boca Raton, Fl. – March 2013

For more information about purchasing any of the various Rust Rapture images, visit http://www.johnnystevens.imagekind.com.

About Rust Rapture
Rust Rapture is the latest art exhibition of photographer and artist Johnny Stevens, which showcases the mysterious beauty he captures from the exterior finishes of vintage “hot rod” or “rat rod” cars. These vintage cars span 40 years and range from a 1924 Ford Model T to a 1966 Chevy sedan, with hundreds of models in between. Five years ago while photographing at the Lonestar Rod and Kustom Car Round-up, he discovered stunning imagery hidden in the rust of rat rods. These images gave rise to the Rust Rapture series. The art exhibit will be on display at the O2 Gallery and Project Space in Austin, Texas and will run June 1 through June 29, 2015.

About Johnny Stevens
Johnny Stevens was born and raised in North Carolina in a small town in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. As a child he was exposed to all forms of art – theater, opera, painting and music. Stevens attended Fleming College in Florence, Italy, to study art history, photography and painting. It was in Florence where he drew inspiration from Salvador Dali’s abstract representations of the world around him. Today, he still honors the lessons learned while attending college in Italy, looking for patterns that are disrupted, while trying to maintain balance in the composition. It is precisely this theme that fed his passion for revealing the inherent beauty of the rhythms, texture and color captured from the finish (or lack thereof) of rat rods and inspired the creation of his most popular art series, Rust Rapture.

In 1983, Stevens founded HORIZON Film & Video where he produced thousands of media products in all genres until 2005. Today he focuses on commercial and fine art photography, and is highly skilled in architectural, interior design and portrait photography. Another of his notable photography series includes “Cow Parade” – 72 images that were featured at The Austin Cow Parade, hosted by Jay Leno, which was a live auction to support the Dell Children’s Hospital “Superhero Kids” program in Austin, TX. Stevens currently works and resides in Austin, Texas. Along with being a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP), Stevens is also a respected member of National Association of Photoshop Professionals, Professional Photographers of America, Texas PPA, Austin Guild PPA, and Interior Design Society. For more information, go to http://www.johnnystevens.com.

Gallery Information
O2 Gallery and Project Space (Flatbed building)
2832 East MLK Jr. Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78702


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