Representation by Micah Johnson

Micah Johnson is a self-taught figurative artist whose work is centered around the aspiration of African-American children. Micah is a former Major League Baseball player. Johnson invited Lethabo Huma to TIMEPieces.


Artist Statement

Title: Representation

Micah is a self-taught figurative artist who uses strong gestural lines combined with loose brush strokes to create dramatic portraits primarily featuring African-American children. These subjects, which are often inspired by his young nephews, began appearing in Micah’s work ever since he overheard his 4-year old nephew ask, “Can astronauts be Black?” After seeing the overwhelming response to his paintings, Micah realized he needed to expand this message to reach a broader demographic and he created an animated character named Aku. What sets Aku apart is his freedom and confidence, his openness to people of all kinds of people and, his desire to help.


About the Artist

Ever since the age of 3, Micah Johnson knew what he wanted to be when he grew up- a professional baseball player. His dreams came true in 2012 when the Chicago White Sox drafted him in the 9th round out of Indiana University. But, what Micah didn’t know was that his true calling in life was just getting started. Micah discovered painting in 2016 and after a few words of encouragement from his then Los Angeles Dodgers teammates, his new passion was taking shape. Micah’s work has centered around empowering young African-American kids to see what is possible & dream without limitations. Micah began releasing NFTs in January of 2020 & in February of 2021, he released Aku, an animated confident black astronaut character. Aku’s message became a viral sensation and became the first NFT ever optioned to become a major feature film.

@micah_johnson3 | @micah_johnson3

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