A Deep Haunting, a solo exhibition of new paintings by the artist Leasho Johnson. Born and raised in Jamaica, Johnson’s work reconfigures mythic archetypes to evoke embodiments of queerness. Johnson’s debut solo exhibition with TERN, A Deep Haunting will be on view from June 23 to July 23 2022, with an opening reception on June 23 at 7pm.
Now based in Chicago, Johnson’s recent work considers the environment of his native country as a way of looking back. Reflecting on the Caribbean as a site of trauma and extraction, the artist sees vestiges of colonialism in the performance of gender — recognizing how ingrained values of domination continue to police social behavior. The show’s title alludes to the opening lines of Martin Munro’s The Haunted Tropics, an anthology of ghost stories that use characterizations and fiction, to account for the colonial experiences of the Caribbean. Johnson began his studio work as a process of catharsis, aiming to explore and expel growing up in a society that renders his sexuality invisible. The resulting compositions are both beautiful and tenaciously positive: paeans to the secret life of gay culture in the tropics, where clandestine mountain parties unlock new patterns and pathways of self-expression to the underlying throb of Dancehall beats.
Leasho Johnson is a visual artist working primarily in painting, installation, and sculpture.