Jasper Johns Johns grew up in Allendale, South Carolina, and recounting this period in his life, he says, "In the place where I was a child, there were no artists and there was no art, so I really didn't know what that meant. I think I thought it meant that I would be in a situation different than the one that I was in."
Johns studied at the University of South Carolina from 1947 to 1948, a total of three semesters. He then moved to New York and studied briefly at Parsons School of Design in 1949. While in New York, Johns met Robert Rauschenberg, Merce Cunningham and John Cage. Working together they explored the contemporary art scene, and began developing their ideas on art. In 1952 and 1953 he was stationed in Sendai, Japan during the Korean War.
In 1958, the gallery owner Leo Castelli visited the studio of Robert Rauschenberg and, during this visit, discovered Johns.