The Empire State Building Shooter’s Car Art Gallery Revealed

Jalopnik reporter, Patrick George brings us a terrifyingly artistic story straight from the pages of New York Times about Empire State Building shooter, Jeffrey T. Johnson, who last Friday shot his boss after being laid-off some time ago from Hazan Imports, a company that distributes belts and handbags.

Johnson, who was gunned down by police, had worked as a designer for Hazan for nearly two years before losing his job. Co-workers who knew Johnson describe him as being extremely careful to detail and overall eccentric, “He was so detail-oriented. If he had a free minute, he would start doing origami.”

In his spare time, Johnson ran a website through which he tried to sell T-shirts while displaying his odd yet intriguing pieces of automotive art. The New York Times describes the creative influences behind Johnson’s artwork, “A childhood love of comic books seems to have forged his career. He had returned to the form in recent months, posting intricate illustrations of cars on a website he ran,, as a way to make money…”

Among the most fascinating of Johnson’s collection is his rather lifelike drawing of a ’63 split-window, along with an incredibly Ed Roth-like rendering of a Ferrari 330 P4. His other GM drawings include a yellow ’57 post sedan and what appears to be an early-’70s era Trans Am, pictured alongside an attractive woman character who shows up consistently in Johnson’s work.

The strange factor of Johnson’s art is evident in his off-the-wall angles and unconventional uses of proportion, using careful detail in the drawing of the featured cars while using a slightly more sloppy hand when drawing people or other background objects.

His artwork is also characterized by the juxtaposition of fighter jets and animals, such as in his drawing of what appears to be a green Jaguar in which the backdrop is adorned by an eagle sporting jet turbines as its primary source of flight.

The car drawing gallery is a strange trip through the mind of a man whose brain clearly was not functioning within the “normal” realm, but it also gives unique perspective into the cars, and especially the rare style of early-’60s ‘Vette, that we’ve all come to know and love.


About the author

Salvatore Alaimo

After graduating from California State University, Northridge, California, Sal Alaimo Jr. has continued with his passion of the automotive industry. Alaimo's been an auto enthusiast since his early years, and grew up learning about cars from his father, Sal Alaimo Sr. If its got a set of fat rear tires and 8-cylinders, Alaimo Jr. is all for it. Today, Alaimo Jr. brings with him a pool of enthusiasm and pride as a contributing freelance writer for Chevy Hardcore.
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