Dave Sims πŸ–ΌοΈ

Johnny Was an Outlaw

Johnny Was an Outlaw by Dave Sims

Artist’s Statement

Johnny the Outlaw first started speaking to me from across the psychic wastelands in February of 2021. I know this because my computer tells me so.

For what it’s worth, while the possibilities of AI continue to scare the piss out of me, I still like computers for simple reasonsβ€”finding old photos, locating work that I almost forgotten I’d made, rediscovering ideas and stories… you know how it goes: all at once hearing those whispers again from people like Johnny, that guy I should have maybe paid more attention to back then, when he was first emerging from the mud.

When I’m out in the studio, almost done with any particular session of painting, I try to remember to snap a jpg from a cell phone when whatever piece drying is in process or done, so the digital jpgs have the closest origin date in the properties data. And I see now from those digital footprints from that year… and, yeah, a year later, still more connected files with names like “Johnny’s nightmare” and “Johnny’s girlfriend” and “Johnny and the Krebb brothers” and “Johnny outlaw sans words” and “What went wrong back then with Johnny and the heist and how it still all matters now.”

Weird stuff. I’m always working on the ways words and images together can combine and refute and refract and reflect and erase and reconfigure any message at all, so while I don’t know exactly what finding all those versions means for Johnny from his side of the void, for me from mine I see it as another chance to stomp around some more in his narrative marsh…listening, trying to render some often forgotten or misheard truths….

Sheesh…the guy haunted me there for a while, all right?

Anyway. Watercolors on paper, 11 x 14. Another lonely lost American outlaw voice from some mythic world that never was and maybe never should have been but somehow still is…there inside our collective consciousness…goodness, gracious, can we still say a phrase such as that with such deep and serious belief?

Yeah, I still do.

About the Artist

Dave Sims makes art and music in the mountains of central Pennsylvania. His paintings, comix, stories, and poems appear in dozens of tactile and virtual exhibits and publications, with recent pieces appearing in Artifact, Streetlit, and the Raw Art Review, along with a weird comic forthcoming in God’s Cruel Joke. See more at tincansims.com.