Jasper Johns (born May 15, 1930) has been described as as one of the most acclaimed and influential living artists. Today, at the age of almost 84 he remains at the forefront of American art. He also ranks with Dürer, Rembrandt, Goya, Munch, and Picasso as one of the greatest printmakers of any era
"In the place where I was a child, there were no artists and there was no art, so I really didn't know what that meant. I think I thought it meant that I would be in a situation different than the one that I was in." He began drawing when he was three and has continued doing art ever since.
Johns studied a total of three semesters at the University of South Carolina, from 1947 to 1948. He then moved to New York City and studied briefly at the Parsons School of Design in 1949. In 1952 and 1953 he was stationed in Sendai, Japan during the Korean War.
Johns is best known for his painting Flag (1954–55), which he painted after having a dream of the American flag. His work is often described as a Neo-Dadaist, as opposed to pop art, even though his subject matter often includes images and objects from popular culture. Still, many compilations on pop art include Jasper Johns as a pop artist because of his artistic use of classical iconography.
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Jasper Johns major works Flag (1954–55) White Flag (1955) Target with Plaster Casts (1955) False Start (1959) Three Flags (1958) Coathanger (1960) Painting With Two Balls (1960) Painted Bronze (1960) Device (1962-3) Periscope (Hart Crane) (1963) The Critic Sees (1964) Study for Skin (1962) Figure Five (1963–64) Voice (1967) Skull (1973) Tantric Detail (1980) Seasons (1986) Numbers in Color(1958–59) Titanic(1976–78)
|In 2006, private collectors Anne and Kenneth Griffin (founder of the Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel LLC) bought Johns' False Start (1959) from David Geffen for $80 million, making it the most expensive painting by a living artist.|
|In 1998, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York bought Johns' White Flag. While the Met would not disclose how much was paid, "experts estimate (the painting's) value at more than $20 million."|
|On February 15, 2011 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, becoming the first painter or sculptor to receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom since Alexander Calder in 1977.|