Life in the Theatre & Café Society

Art works by Johnny Memphis (AKA John Drnec)

Exhibition Runs: Dec. 3 – Jan. 1st

Opening Reception: Saturday, Dec. 3, 1-6pm

Decatur StreetOil on canvas

"I’m an old-fashioned painter, no tricks up my sleeve, only the power of paint on canvas. My adult life has been lived in the afterglow of the ‘60s in search for the meaning of ‘home.’ I’ve re-created my life again and again in the many places I’ve found myself such that my version of ‘home’ has little to do with ‘place,’ but is deeply rooted in camaraderie with my fellow humans. I find them in theatres, street corners, in cafes from Memphis to Paris, from New Orleans to Rome. My paintings are not representations of people, but rather an inspiration of ‘home’ where humans gather to commune with each other and the music of life."

- Johnny Memphis


The Biograph

Rue de la Opera


Boys in the Bar

Life in the Theatre

Johnny Memphis is an artist who has traveled the world as a musician, photographer, painter, journalist, teamster and jack of all trades. He began his artistic journey busking on Beale Street in Memphis. He moved on to New Orleans, Cape Cod, and west to Los Angeles to perform in well-known clubs like The Troubadour and Gazzari’s. Johnny traveled to Europe and began photographing street scenes that reminded him of his old homestead in the French Quarter of New Orleans. When he had an offer in the late ‘90s to move to Philadelphia, his first stop was the New Hope art colony in Bucks County, PA. During one of his musical performances, he met his muse – the late Mrs. Lilias Barger, who held weekly Grand Salons of classical music at her home in Carversville, PA. She encouraged his painting and critiqued his work until the end. His folk style of painting street scenes and theatrical venues is reminiscent of his Beale Street roots. His visions are gritty streets and splendid performance halls, extremes that converge where people gather to share and experience life.

Commonwealth Rain

Le Consulat

Media interviews contact: Cynthia.Scottjohnson@gmail.com 

 Call/Text: 703-309-3826