Jack of all trades and a master of, well, all, meet designer and art director (and illustrator, and sculptor) Johanna Burai.
Since graduating with a BA in Visual Communication from Stockholm school Beckmans College of Design, Johanna has drawn illustrations which take on the zeitgeist, documenting celebrity culture, the black lives matter movement and the toxic rise of Donald Trump. “Two things that are consistent in my work are my politics and my love for popular culture,” Johanna tells It’s Nice That.
Her sculptures — like Pum Pum A Lead, a neat fold clay painted in grey, white and beige with a precision which at first seems machine-generated, and Grace Vase, a monochromatic vase decorated with minimal graphic portraits of Grace Jones — sit comfortably next to disruptive but visually pleasing posters, identities and artworks.
“I love working with self-initiated projects,” Johanna says. “Variety is the key in my work, both in my visual expression and also when it comes to working with different materials. I don’t like being stuck in one style or profession, I need to feel free in my expression. That can be a problem sometimes that I don’t have ‘one’ style, but hey, as long as I like what I do and the outcome of the things I make, that’s fine by me.”
Johanna’s work has been featured in publications including Fader, Back Catalogue, Dazed and Wired Germany. Her graduation project alone, a "activist campaign” titled World Wide Web which aimed “to bring attention to the norm of whiteness online and to fight everyday racism” by bringing attention to discriminatory (read: white-washed) internet search results received press coverage from Al Jazeera, BBC, Buzzfeed, the Independent, Metro, Nylon magazine, NY Daily News and a long list of others.
“If I had to describe my work in terms of pure form, it is often a mix between hard and soft, between hand and machine. It may not always be so clear to the viewer but for me it is important to find a balance in what I create,” Johanna says.