Artist Statement

Jaleesa Johnston is a mixed media artist currently working in Portland, OR. She holds a BA from Vassar College and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work explores the ruptured and queer existence of the black female body as both subject and object through performance, video, photography, sculpture and collage. Working with her body as material, Jaleesa uses its malleability and symbolism to conjure new narratives that suggest blackness as a liminal site for personal and communal transformation. She is particularly concerned with articulating gestures of the body as a fragmented language that can be used to voice narratives of fugitivity, resistance and freedom.