Leasho Johnson is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice spans a wide range of formats and media, including ceramics, murals, mixed media, street art, graphic design and found objects. During his residency at RU, he will expand a body of work that aims to redress the global lack of understanding of traditional Jamaican Dancehall culture. “Jamaican Dancehall culture is vibrant, dynamic, and often times controversial. It is relevant to contemporary Jamaican youth and informs political, social and racial views in Jamaica,” says Johnson. “My current work attempts to elucidate both the hidden wildness within this aspect of Jamaican culture and my own place in society as a gay man from rural Jamaica.” Using original characters he has named “Pum-Pum” which act as exaggerated reflections of male and female roles in Dancehall culture, Johnson juxtaposes imagery grounded in traditional realism with that of stylistic cartoons to highlight the differences in the two styles.
Leasho Johnson’s 3-month residency is made possible with support from The Davidoff Art Initiative and the ongoing studio partnership with Residency Unlimited. Image: Leasho Johnson, Back-fi-a-bend, 2015, yeast paste on wall, Kingston Jamaica