Photo credit: TERN Gallery Bahamas

Ep.183 features Leasho Johnson. Born in 1984, he is a visual artist working primarily in painting, installation, and sculpture. He was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and raised in Sheffield, a small town on the outskirts of Negril. Johnson uses his experience growing up Black, gay, and male to explore concepts around identity within the post-colonial condition. Working at the conjunction of painting and drawing, Leasho combines charcoal, homemade paints, and dyes straddling the line between fluidity and chance, as well as precision and improvisation. Johnson makes characters that live on the edge of perception, visible and invisible simultaneously. His work’s intent is to disrupt historical, political, and social expectations of the Black queer experience.

Leasho Johnson was a fellow of the Jamaica Art Society in 2022 and a Leslie Lohman Museum fellow in 2021. He was recipient of the New Artist Society Scholarship from the School of Art Institute Chicago (SAIC) 2018 – 2020.

His recent residencies include Ruby Cruel in London, 2023 and Fountainhead Residency, Miami, 2022.

Leasho has shown his work in his home country at several National Gallery of Jamaica exhibitions, including the Jamaica Biennial 2012, 2014, 2017, and 2022.

His recent solo exhibitions include “Somewhere between the eyes and the heart”, Western Exhibitions, 2023 “The Love of Men and the Fear of Stones,” Harpers Gallery, New York, 2022 “A Deep Haunting,” TERN Gallery, Nassau Bahamas, 2022

Internationally, Leasho has exhibited in ‘Fragments of Epic Memory’ at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada 2021, ’Resisting Paradise’, Puerto Rico and Montreal, 2019, ‘Jamaican Pulse: Art and Politics from Jamaica and the Diaspora’, Bristol, UK 2016, ‘Jamaican Routes’, Oslo, Norway 2016, ‘Jamaica Jamaica’, Philharmonie, Paris France and Brazil, 2017 and 2018.

His work is in the Public Collections of the Pérez Art Museum Miami, the Art Gallery Ontario, and ON National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston Jamaica

Leasho is currently based in Chicago, where he works and Lectures at the School of Art Institute Chicago part-time. His work is also part of various notable private collectors, as well as museum permanent collections.


Western Exhibitions Somewhere between the eyes and the heart – Western Exhibitions

Chicago Reader ns/


Tern Gallery

Vogue On The Importance Of Social Revolutions: How Three Black Creatives Are Straddling Culture And Craft | Vogue Italia


Marsha Pearce

Contemporary Art Matters

Kavi Gupta

Artist Alliance

University of Chicago

Repeating Islands

Art Plugged


AXA Art Prize

‘Reading beyond the tragic,’ 2022
Charcoal, distemper, watercolor, logwood dye, acrylic, oil, oil stick, gold foil, and gesso on paper
61h x 45w in

‘Carry-go-bring-come’, 2022
Charcoal, distemper, watercolor, acrylic, oil, gold foil, and gesso on paper mounted on canvas
25h x 27.13w in

‘To multiply the speed of a man by four (Anansi #17),’ 2022
Charcoal, watercolor, acrylic, logwood dye, oil stick, oil, gold foil, gesso on paper
67 x 52 x 2 inches

‘Buried beyond the pasture without any names (Anansi #22),’ 2023
Charcoal, distemper, watercolor, indigo dye, logwood dye, acrylic, oil, oil stick, gold foil, gold leaf, gesso on paper mounted on canvas
67 x 52 x 2 inches