Art in Interior Design: Johnny Stevens

Johnny Stevens was referred to me years ago by Austin Woman Magazine. At the time, he was doing a lot of architectural and interior photography. Over the years he has done everything from room photos to staff photos for our firm. Johnny is a very talented and versatile photographer. It is unusual that a photographer can be great at photographing people as well as interior and exterior architecture.

I think Johnny hit it out of the park, though, with his Rust Rapture series. How creative he is to even notice that these close-up shots of rusted vehicles could transfer over to gorgeous abstract artwork. The natural beauty of these pieces is both rustic and contemporary all at once.

Both Johnny and his wife Sam are amazing people and have a wonderful loving family. They are all very close and supportive of each other.



Austin Texas PhotographerDescription of me and how I got started: Johnny Stevens was raised in Lenoir, NC, where he attended high school at Asheville School for Boys, studied photography and studio art at Fleming College, Florence Italy, psychology at Wake Forest University, and at Appalachian State studied Radio-TV-Film.  In 1980 he attended The University of Texas Graduate Film School, where he was awarded a Student Academy Award in 1982 for a short film. He founded HORIZON Film & Video, Inc. in Austin, and spent 28 years behind motion picture and video cameras producing and directing hundreds of films and videos of all genres, all the while honing his eye for balance and composition that would fuel his passion for photography. He is currently enjoying photography as his sole profession in Austin specializing in architectural, interior design, and portrait photography – which feeds his bank account, but it is the abstract fine art photography that feeds his soul.

How I work: In terms of photographic composition, I always start by following the rules…. but only in anticipation of breaking those rules. In my abstract fine art work my task is to discover opportunities to build mystery – to create an image that make the viewer curious. My quest is to reveal unique perspectives the ordinary that others would not otherwise see.

Rust Rapture series: Although I have an extensive abstract fine art portfolio, by far my favorite collection is my Rust Rapture Series. These are all images that I photographed over the last 8 years at the Lone Star Kustom Car Roundup which attracts owners of rat rods from around the nation. Rat Rods are vintage hot rods whose exteriors have been left to the demise of mother nature – rain, wind, blazing sun, and occasionally the owner’s belt sander. The amalgam of colors and textures that I find on the exteriors of these cars is unbelievable. 

One thing I love about these Rust Rapture prints is that since they are abstract, they can often be hung as landscape or portrait prints – whichever the beholder prefers. I enjoy being involved in the creative process of choosing from the dozens of images I have in this collection. I can crop and resize each image to fit the installation. Also creating a diptych or a triptych is easily done as I did for “Crystallized” which hangs in the lobby of a law firm 1940 Willy's Coup f - 24x36 Deep Sea Divedowntown Austin. Canvas is one of my favorite substrates for printing but fine art luster paper beautifully framed is always a safe way to go. Often, to make it easier for my clients, I ask them to send me photo of the wall on which they are considering installing a print – even a phone pic – and I can easily photoshop the print, scaled to size, onto the wall and send it back to them so they can see how the design and the colors of the print work with that room. It helps taking the guess work out.


What is the title of this piece: ‘Deep Sea Dive’, size 24” X 36”

Why I love this piece: Deep Sea Dive is actually about a 3 square inch section of the hood of a 1940 Willy’s Coup. I love the movement in this print. I love it so much that I hired the owner to bring his car to Austin to show it off outside of the O2 Gallery in Austin where I held my last exhibit. The crowd loved it!

17735-535I love this series by Johnny Stevens. I particularly love this piece and immediately thought to pair this lamp with it since they both have the same oxidized feel, and the lamp shade plays off of the warm tones in the piece. Johnny’s pieces work in any contemporary space and can even work in traditional rustic rooms or transitional spaces.


To learn more about Johnny Stevens, and to purchase your own piece from Rust Rapture or one of his other photo series, please visit He can also be contacted directly via phone at 512.762.5621 or by email at

We invite you to follow our blog by entering your email to receive our future posts about design, recipes, and Texas wine picks straight to your inbox. If you are already one of our fabulous followers, please share our posts on social media or with anyone you think would enjoy them. Help us reach our goal of 500 followers!

Designing spaces people love to live in,

Robin's Signature

Leave a comment:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s