Most lives are governed by the clock. Deadlines must be met, units must move. But some lives, like that that of artist Johnny Sufficool—in a place like Marfa, where there’s room to let your soul wander—are lived with a kind of Zen-like intention. With looks of a handsome, old cowboy and gravely voice to match, Johnny is a renowned character well woven into the fabric of Marfa’s groovy, far-flung community. An artist and true eyeconoclast who’s lived here for over 40 years, Johnny’s rusty and magnificent “art cars” were crafted in Marfa, but now live in museums from Beverly Hills to Sun Valley.
While an artist by trade, perhaps Johnny’s equal love is gardening, the two passions sharing that certain magical quality folks seek in the town of Marfa itself: slowness. “Gardening, to me, not only does it feed yourself, but when you touch the ground, especially with your bare hands or your bare feet, it has a grounding and a calming effect that could probably cure insane people if they would just touch the earth for a while,” says Johnny, in a voice that seems to come from somewhere deep in the soil. “Gardening connects you directly to the earth and it’s another one of those things that really slows you down because it takes a minimum of about two months for anything to produce. So that teaches you to not to get in a horrible rush which is something that goes contrary to the speed of life now.”
Inventive and introspective, a conversation with Johnny quickly forms some unexplainable connection. And according to him, that’s mostly why he came to Marfa and why he makes art—to connect with people. Whether he’s got his gloves on a piece of scrap metal, or his bare hands in the dirt, Johnny Sufficool continually inspires creativity. He inspires others, like eyebobs’ motto goes, to see things differently. “I see life sort of like a river,” he smiles. “A river's got a strong current in the middle and then it's got eddies on the side, but if you take look and jump in for the main current, life is a magical experience. It might be a little crazy at first but it definitely gets fun and is never boring.”