For Johnston, who would obviously disagree with the above, the salient chapters in Johns' life are his South Carolina childhood, his bisexuality (which, one infers, runs about 90-10 gay), the influence of Marcel Duchamp, and his encounter with Matthias Grunewald's Isenheim Altar-piece
His iconic altar-pieces
and frescoes--painted for two Popes, members of Florence's Medici family, and the city's merchant elite--transformed Western art, securing his place in history and forging the future of painting in Italy.
Done up in leather, lace, or velvet, the players in Teraoka's cabaret of the damned perform, in epic-scale panoramas and on multipanel altar-pieces
in gilt frames, acts of deviance, hypocrisy, cruelty, and brutality amid hordes of animals, rising flames, and gothic and Romanesque architecture.
The author carefully defines the terms and unusual structure of these altar-pieces
so long in limbo between the medieval reliquary altar and the Cinquecento single-medium altarpiece that reflected the paragone prioritizing painting or sculpture.