Jasper Johns was born in 1930 in Allendale, South Carolina and grew up wanting to be an artist. In the early 1950s, he studied briefly at the University of South Carolina, before moving to New York. Johns met a number of other artists in New York, including painter, Robert Rauschenberg and choreographer Merce Cunningham. Johns began working with Rauschenberg, creating window displays for Tiffany’s. In 1958, gallery owner Leo Castelli saw John’s work and offered him a show immediately. At John’s first exhibition, The Museum of Modern Art purchased three of his pieces, solidifying the fact that he was to become a major force in the art world.
John’s concern with process led him to printmaking in 1960 and he often made counterpart prints to his paintings. He revolutionized the field of printmaking with his innovations in lithography, screen printing and etching. During the 1970s, Johns created a series of prints to accompany Samuel Beckett’s text, “Fizzles”. John’s later works show an interest in the autobiographical.
A major retrospective of John’s work was held in 1997 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Jasper Johns has been working and pursuing a hobby of beekeeping from a restored barn near Sharon, Connecticut since the 1990s.