It is difficult to speak the truth about artist Johnny Ace. He has cultivated a mysterious persona with the same ironic humor and jumbled timeline found in his artwork. Perhaps the Reverend Ace would prefer we use the terms “art” & “work” with quotation marks, contending that his creations are actually neither. A little secret truth is that the Reverend Johnny Ace is the alter-ego of a man who is both a student and a teacher of American pop culture. If a Ph.D. in American Intellectual History is proof, then heck, he is a bona fide expert. In his painted collages that he simply calls “boards,” American cultural icons mingle with one another and with ordinary people in total disregard to conventional time or space. Behind the often hilarious social commentary of each piece, there is at least a tiny bit of historical fact drawn from the artist’s mental encyclopedia. The truth is that Johnny Ace really does know all those people and characters, even if they did not really know him. So when you read the bio of Johnny Ace written by Professor Hammons, do so the same way you look at his boards - with a skeptical smile.
Read the bio by Dr. Hammons here: