Leroy Johnson, 2019 Peter Benoliel Fellow

I am a mixed media artist and a native Philadelphian. I was a participant and activist in the Black Arts Movement in Philadelphia in the sixties and seventies. Much of that art was concerned with the pressing social issues of the time and jazz was seen as a structural and inspirational component in the creation of that art. Artists such as Ben Shan and Jacob Lawrence were artists who inspired me with their paintings dealing with social issues. Necessity and awareness of constructivism and assemblage encouraged me in the use of found objects and materials from the urban environment to create color and texture in my work.
I admire the work of Thornton Dial, Lonnie Holley, and other African Americans whose art is rooted in improvisation and process. The urban collages of the streets of Harlem by Romare Bearden, the intense urban paintings of Beauford Delaney and the artists of the Ashcan School. Most importantly, the work of Philadelphia painter Louis B. Sloan, a great influence in me.

mixed media