Johnny Jack Hansen is my name. I was born in Frederiksberg in 1956. My first memories are from the house on Finsensvej, where my grandmother lived.
When I entered the house, the heavy door swung behind me with a loud bang. The dark room with high ceilings. The large staircase with the wide steps and brown linoleum. Handled with the darker polished wood. The special smell mixed a little cigar. It was like being led back to another world.
From there it went up the stairs to the 4th stock where my grandmother lived. There was a long dark hall where the first door on the left was the toilet. Then came the bedroom and the kitchen. The living room was at the end and it was big and bright. It was characterized by a large heavy oak dining table with ball legs. Around the table stood eight chairs. Tapestries and paintings by F. J. Willumsen on the walls. A daybed. A black phone with a tenth of the ring bell.
In particular, I remember the large linen closet with a drawer below, where there was always paper, pencils and colors ready for me.
Since my first step I have sat at the table and played with color crayons. Ice cream dairy in the basement, butter in dish, reflexology and spice fat. Coke in the basement that was going to the fourth floor. Ice cream for the fridge. Backstage and closet in the yard. The drying room in the attic was huge. The park opposite the playground. These are my first memories. A bygone era – well, yes.
At age 17, my parents asked what I wanted after school. I answered promptly that I aimed at the art academy. The week after, I had a apprenticeship at a local paint retailer – it was a matter of doing it. I was there for a year and a half until I got sick of chemicals and had to retrain.
I studied HF and had a social worker education which I finished in 1981. Worked as a teacher and tattooist until 1986 when I got meningitis and subsequent had a paralysis on my left side.
The world was changed. What now? Nothing was as it had been. I had to start over again. I went to rehabilitation at Centre Skodsborg.
One day, on the wall, I saw a painting that I liked, painted in yellow colors. I thought there was something I could learn. That’s how I met my teacher to be – Mette Zeuthen.
Mette is a student of Professor Finn Nielsen, and she has taught me what I know about shapes and colors. The next year was on watercolor painting, and as I am a landscape painter of mind, it was very easy and instructive.
I traveled around Denmark, Greece, Spain and Macedonia and painted. In 1989 I started exhibiting in art associations. At the same time, I began to submit to the censored exhibitions at home and later in Europe. Now I could paint and sell, so how could I make it into art?
Johnny Jack Hansen starts traveling
I began to show interest in other artists to find my recipe. The recipes are as many as there are artists. I had to think of my own ways.
During my social worker studies I ran into perception psychology and thought it would be interesting to match the expression of my paintings. I have worked with the concept since 1995, the year I drove around New Zealand and visited Serva’s friends there. A dream since school time. A dream that came true. A whole new and foreign world opened. I still have friends there.
I visited New York in 1996 and Fillippines several times until 2001. In 2002, I visited New Zealand friends in Kuala Lumpur, and here I met my friend Shukri for the first time. Over the past few years I have visited him eight times and he has visited me here in Europe twice.
In 2003 we both went to the Florence Biennale.
Since then we have traveled in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Italy, Holland and Denmark. Together we established the Symbiose Exhibition at Farum Culture House in 2013 and a Gallery Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur 2014.
You can read more about it here.