Monday, November 24, 2008

Eric Johnsen: Master Builder

I'm very proud of my brother Eric. A master builder to me is someone who doesn't necessarily have a degree in architecture, yet brings an enormous amount of creativity and beauty to the structures he builds, whether they be a small bathing shed or a magnificent mansion. Inspired by the house we grew up in above Honolulu in Nu'uanu Valley, a modernist 50's style house designed by Alfred Preis and constructed by the finest Japanese craftsmen, Eric creates the most beautiful structures and furnishes them with exquisite cabinetry.

The latest of these masterpieces to be finished is a house for Gwen and Ray Chaiken, on a knoll overlooking Hawaiian Homesteads pastureland near Waimea, with a grand view of Mauna Kea. Eric invited me to fill the empty walls with my artwork in time for the open-house-blessing party they threw yesterday. I wouldn't go to this effort for just anybody but since it was Eric I brought up 32 paintings and prints and managed to find wallspace for every piece, although none of what I brought were large enough for some of the big walls.

Installation was amusing and painful as both Eric and I had matching rotater-cuff shoulder injuries on opposite sides, our working arms (he's left-handed). Together we struggled as a complete human being and managed to get everything up.

I wish I'd taken more photos of the building itself, and actually my photography petered out after one or two rooms since it seemed too dark. But here are a few shots; maybe I'll take more later in the week.

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