City by Leroy Johnson
Artist: Leroy Johnson
Edition: Archival pigment print on sustainable Bamboo Paper, from an edition of 20
Size: 24 x 30 inches
Markings: Hand signed and numbered with Sugar Press chop mark
Afro American culture has been shaped by a traumatic history. It contains the elements and memories of separation, fracture, loss and oppression: histories shared by all humankind. My art bears witness.
I attempt to express not only aesthetic issues, but social, moral, and spiritual ones as well. My influences are many: clay, naïve art, collage, combining painting, jazz and the spirits with(in) them. My work is concerned with life and existence in the inner city. I am impressed by the various makeshift structures in the urban environment, structures shaped by necessity, with available materials and improvisation.
The inner-city landscape I depict is both map and metaphor for the actual landscape and the contents of the collective unconscious. The pieces I am working on are a tapestry of the past, present and future. Sometimes, I am concerned with storyline, at other times, color, texture and harmony.
The artists of the Harlem Renaissance worked with the intention to educate and bring to people the unique experience and expression of Afro American culture. Those artists were political, and we should be so as well. The job of the artist is to convey and preserve history and provide a dream of the future.
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