view additional image 1
View in a Room ArtworkView in a Room Background
view additional image 3
view additional image 4
view additional image 5


The Courtesan (Basho's Lost Lover) 1/3 Print

Iskra Johnson

United States

Printmaking, Sumi on Rice Paper

Size: 28 W x 28 H x 0.1 D in

Ships in a Tube


check Shipping included

check 14-day satisfaction guarantee

Primary imagePrimary imagePrimary imagePrimary imagePrimary image Trustpilot Score

Artist Recognition

link - Artist featured in a collection

Artist featured in a collection

About The Artwork

"The Courtesan (Basho's Lost Lover)" is available as 1/3 in 24x24". This size as shown in a room is 24x24" printed in archival inks on Hahnemuhle rag paper. There is a two-inch unprinted border around the image. This work is an abstract portrait of an imagined courtesan from Japan in the 1600's. She is walking in the morning light of a garden. It is a visual poem painted in tribute to the haiku of Matsuo Bashō. The men in the zen traditions got all the glory; in the background were the women, the dazzling and talented painters and calligraphers who lived their lives in obscurity and often in servitude. They lived always in waiting, while doing their own quiet work of observation and avant garde abstraction of the world in dark and light. This piece is composed of layers of rice paper which I have painted and crumpled and unfolded in various ways. I have blended layers of paintings digitally, moving them into relationship with each other in a deep space of soft transparency. The final art is an archival print. I spent many years practicing traditional sumi painting and calligraphy as part of my career as a professional calligrapher and designer. As part of my studies I immersed myself in the writing and art of Bashō and other zen painters. This piece is part of a series of abstract calligraphic work that is my contemporary Western response to an Eastern tradition.

Details & Dimensions

Printmaking:Sumi on Rice Paper

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:28 W x 28 H x 0.1 D in

Shipping & Returns

Delivery Time:Typically 5-7 business days for domestic shipments, 10-14 business days for international shipments.

Throughout my work I explore impermanence as it occurs in the urban landscape and in nature. My architectural prints and mixed media pieces focus on the radical reshaping of the built landscape through gentrification and de-industrialization. As we are confronted with change and our relationship to it, I am interested in the question of how much of the past we value and hold onto, and how much we let go to make the future our “now.” My work lives on the edge between nostalgia and accommodation, mediating through the elements of surface and iconic structure to a conversation about history, identity and sense of place. I have been a calligrapher and letter form artist for much of my professional art career, creating well known brandmarks for film, books and packaging. I have created custom typographic identities for Kitty Kelly, Clive Barker, Naomi Judd, and Anne Rice among others, and movie titling for Dreamworks and Walt Disney. As a fine artist I bring my passion for mark making and the architecture of letter forms into the abstract realm. I have a calligrapher's subtle sense of surface and texture, and incorporate calligraphic mark making into many of my pieces. I use photography, digital composition, printmaking, mixed media and collage, shifting as needed to suit my subject matter. I embrace new media and the infinite ways in which the analog and the digital can be shaken, stirred and poured into a new creative form.

Artist Recognition

Artist featured in a collection

Artist featured by Saatchi Art in a collection

Thousands Of Five-Star Reviews

We deliver world-class customer service to all of our art buyers.


Global Selection

Explore an unparalleled artwork selection by artists from around the world.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

Our 14-day satisfaction guarantee allows you to buy with confidence.

Support An Artist With Every Purchase

We pay our artists more on every sale than other galleries.

Need More Help?

Enjoy Complimentary Art Advisory Contact Customer Support