Jasper Johns’ 1983 artwork “Racing Thoughts” is a mixed media piece, utilizing encaustic, screenprint and wax crayon on collaged cotton and linen. The painting, housed in the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, can be seen as a symbolic self-portrait depicting a psychological condition where images and ideas run disjointedly through one’s mind.
Johns deliberately avoided art that was cut off from everyday life, instead focusing on common signs and objects in everyday life. Despite some repetition of tropes in Johns’ work during the 1980s and 1990s, “Racing Thoughts” has been described as a tour de force.
The encaustic process or hot wax painting technique has been used to create this artwork. The painting is part of the exhibit “Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney Collection” at the Whitney Museum of American Art. overall, Racing thoughts continues to be considered an impressive masterpiece by Jasper Johns due to its complexity despite being created using simple signs that are visible in our normal day-to-day lives