Aspen Snowmass has selected the world-renowned, Chicago-born contemporary artist Rashid Johnson to create the 2022-23 lift-ticket images.
Johnson is an American artist whose work takes on a range of various media to explore themes of art history, individual and shared cultural identities, personal narratives, literature, philosophy, materiality and critical history, according to an Aspen Skiing Co. news release.
The artwork for this year’s lift ticket will consist of a selection of six of Johnson’s various recent works focusing on intellectual history and cultural identity, the release says.
Inspired by a wide range of everyday materials and objects — including wax, wood, steel, brass, ceramic tile, books, records, old VHS tapes, exotic tropical plants, even CB radios — Johnson incorporates various media into his work.
“Dramatic and theatrical, Rashid’s art conveys his shamanistic inspiration from both African-American and art history, and many of his recent works use these materials in a way that showcases the artist’s desire to transform and expand material objects,” the release states.
The lift-ticket art program is part of Aspen Snowmass’ 18-year-old Art in Unexpected Places initiative, which seeks to activate artistic expression both on SkiCo’s four mountains and around the community.
“Through on-mountain art installations, artwork on lift tickets and passes, works located throughout the resort and a series of books documenting the program’s history, Art in Unexpected Places sparks conversations and moments of unanticipated discovery,” the Aspen Snowmass website explains.
The program “continues to represent the vibrant and distinctive culture found within our mountains and resort, and also emphasizes our brand values. To have an artist of this caliber partner with us is an honor,” said Paula Crown, representing SkiCo’s ownership, in a prepared statement. “Rashid Johnson’s art is compelling, thought provoking and encourages reflection around how art is consumed.”
Johnson, a skier, has spent time both professionally and personally in Aspen and is the ArtCrush 2018 Aspen Award for Art honoree.
Born in Chicago in 1977, Johnson’s work “pushes our perceptions and expands our understanding of contemporary culture,” the release states.
“After studying in the photography department at the Art Institute of Chicago, Johnson expanded his work to embrace a wide range of media, including sculpture, painting, drawing, filmmaking and installation — yielding a complex multidisciplinary practice that incorporates diverse materials, rich with symbolism and personal history,” the release adds.
A limited-edition skie featuring Johnson’s work will be available exclusively at ASPENX in downtown Aspen. The artist will also lead an in-resort children’s workshop this winter.
Previous selections as the Aspen Snowmass lift-ticket artist include: FriendsWithYou, Susan Te Kahurangi King, Hank Willis Thomas, Paula Crown, Yutaka Sone, Peter Doig, Karen Kilimnik, Jim Hodges, Carla Klein, Mamma Andersson, Mark Grotjahn, David Shrigley, Mark Bradford, Anne Collier, Takashi Murakami, Laura Owens and Paola Pivi.
The lift-ticket art program started as a partnership between the Aspen Art Museum and Aspen Snowmass in 2005.