Born in Washington, D.C., M.L.J. Johnson grew up on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He was educated at the New School for Social Research, New York University, Brooklyn College, and the City University at Lehman College. Mr. Johnson also holds a Master’s Degree in Art Education/Curriculum Development, as well as a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts in Painting and Printmaking, from Lehman College. He has extensive teaching experience, Art Chairman and Instructor at St. Joseph Regional High School and Adjunct Printmaking Instructor at Empire State College as well as the College of New Rochelle. He received St. Joseph’s Medal to create a commemorative mural of a patron saint. He was also the recipient of the Art Education Achievement Award in 1973. M.L.J. is listed in “Who’s Who of American Artists” and “Who’s Who of African Americans."
Viewing art as being a universal language, M.L.J. uses it as a form of visual communication, morphing words into images, pictograms of life’s phenomena. As an artist and educator, he has exhibited extensively throughout the United States, London, Spain, Puerto Rico, South America, and the African Diaspora. Currently, M.L.J. Johnson is an Adjunct Professor of Fine Arts at the College of New Rochelle and the Project Arts Coordinator for New York City’s Department of Education.
“Yo People” is what I call my art. It sets the mood to one’s sense of humor far beyond the context of caricature or cartoon. What appears to be comic gives rise to satire. What might ordinarily be viewed as commonplace turns out to be ironic. The jests of puns, and the pranks of human behavioral confrontation, are all enacted through the dramatization of everyday occurrences, set into compositions, starring “Yo People.” These are expressive, animated forms with exaggerated gestures of body posture, language, and emphatic emotional communications. With a very direct, minimal design, the art demands the viewer’s response, which is more personal than looking at a painting.
Website: yopeopleart dot com