Jasper Johns, (born May 15, 1930, Augusta, Georgia, U.S.), American painter and graphic artist who is generally associated with the Pop art movement. Johns studied briefly (1947–48) at the University of South Carolina at Columbia and then moved to New York City to pursue a career as an artist. In 1954 he became friends with Robert Rauschenberg, and that year he began his series of paintings of American flags. His first one-man show, held at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City in 1958, was a resounding success. The paintings Johns went on to produce depict commonplace two-dimensional subjects such as flags, targets, maps, numbers, and letters of the alphabet, all readily recognizable and painted in simple colours. He was able to raise these objects to the level of icons through his paint handling and an extremely sensitive manipulation of surface texture, which he obtained by the encaustic technique, in which pigments are mixed with hot liquid wax. In their willful and ironic banality and their rejection of emotional expression, these early works were a radical departure from the Abstract Expressionist styles that dominated the American art scene at the time.