I am Johnny UltraVex. I am print maker located in the wonderful city of Wichita Ks. I focus mainly on linocut printmaking but dabble in other mediums.
Except for his service in WWII my grandfather was a printer his whole life. He had held every job in his small towns printing plant. Watching those machines make images on paper was always something I looked forward to when I went to visit him. Those memories have stuck with me. Now, with seemingly unlimited access to images of anything someone could imagine, there is something very appealing about sitting down, and spending hours to carve an image, ink it and press it with my own hands. It is comforting for me to see each curl of linoleum fall to the floor and bring the image into more focus. Massaging the paper and feeling the ink soak into the fibers gives me enough pause to appreciate the small things that I often overlook.
I carve and print because I enjoy it. If others also enjoy it, then that is an amazing bonus that I am extremely grateful for. I fear that what I make will be judged or graded based on things other than the feeling that someone gets when they look at one of my prints. Therefore, I prefer to be anonymous and encourage people to take my prints if they feel they like them more than anyone else will. Who I am, who my friends are, if and where I was trained, how does it compare to other carvers, what galleries support me, how much does it cost, should have absolutely nothing to do with how a person feels when they look at one of my prints or if they simply like it or not. If a person looks at one of my prints and it creates an idea of who Johnny UltraVex is in their mind, I assure you, that “idea” is way more exciting than I really am.
I also like to make prints that are more non-sequitur as a type of palate cleanser. Whenever I get to a point where I feel overwhelmed with aesthetic and it stops being fun, I like to carve things that are closer related to Dadism, Abstract or geometric. After that, everything looks fresh again.
Instagram is the best way to reach me: @JohnnyUltraVex or by mail: JohnnyUltraVex@gmail.com