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about andrew johnstone

A British artist now living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area, he is a muralist specializing in photo real trompe l’oeil ( deceive the eye), and has been a professional artist his entire life.

Following a classical European education in the arts, he became the apprentice and protégé of William Holgate (1931-2002), the world's finest master of the decorative arts in the last 150 years, working on cathedrals, Royal Palaces and international architectural treasures. His clients recently have included The Smithsonian Washington DC, Chabot Space and Science Center, US Department of Justice, Alameda County Supervisors. Stanford Medical Center and NASA. He was a faculty member at University of California, Berkeley, where he lectured in and wrote the curriculum for the course “mural and decorative arts” and continues his calling to pass along his knowledge with The Big Picture Project, mentoring graffiti offenders towards “making without victims”.

Since 2005 He worked with the legendary architect/artist Rod Garrett on designing of ”The Man”, the centerpiece of the Burning Man festival, the world's largest art event held every year in Black Rock Desert, Nevada. Andrew continued as the designer of The Man after Rod's passing in August 2011 and was given the title of “Steward Of The Man” by Burning Man's founders.


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In October 2011 he was honored by winning the Alameda County Board of Supervisors 2011 Arts Leadership Award and was subsequently appointed by the Supervisors to two four-year terms as a board member and President of the Alameda County Arts Commission representing District 4. He also holds a position on the board of the Alameda County Arts Education Commission and is President of the Executive Committee.

From Mar 30, 2018 - Jan 21, 2019 Andrew's work was featured as part of a major Smithsonian exhibit "No Spectators" at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Art Museum in Washington DC. before further traveling to Cincinnati Art Museum and Oakland Museum CA.

In 2019 he was invited by the European Cultural Academy to give a lecture about his work designing Burning Man at Palazzo Rossi in Venice as part of the Biennale Arte Festival and was subsequently invited by the Academy to lead a workshop in Amsterdam of artists from around the globe with the work being exhibited at Venice Giardini della Biennale in October 2020.

In the Summer of 2020 Andrew was also the subject of a feature film by BBC Director Gerald Fox called "Art On Fire" based on a book of the same name by Jennifer Raiser.

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