If not for the police barricades currently surrounding it, the J. Marion Sims statue on the East side of Central Park and 103rd street could serve as a portrait of urban serenity to unknowing passerby.
It was as horrifying as it was life-changing, the lack of any facial feature or details erased from her quasi-cartoonish figures engaging in a chaotic interplay of violent revenge and total domination, confronting the viewer with the stubbornness of slavery’s legacy that had been transmuted into 150 years of racist governmental policy and cultural stereotypes.
A beautifully produced feast for the eyes, Sara Driver’s new documentary, Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat is chock-full of information, (skillfully edited) entertaining, uplifting, informative, gripping, and, most of all, a love letter to artists, art lovers, and the East Village.
Brooklyn Museum’s, We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women1965 -1985, retrospective, which closed on September 17, brings many fascinating pieces of work out from the archives to showcase a more idealistic and hopeful time.
‘Skin me, Brer Fox,’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, ‘snatch out my eyeballs, t’ar out my years by de roots, en cut off my legs,’ sezee, ‘but do please, Brer Fox, don’t fling me in dat brier- patch,’ sezee. Co’se Brer Fox wanter hurt Brer Rabbit bad ez he kin, so he cotch ’im by de behime legs en slung ’im right in de middle er de brier-patch.’
It is characteristic of our cultural moment that sincerity often sits uneasy in our stomachs. We’ve heard all the lines before. We know them from a million b-list movies we can’t quite recall, but which form a background of white noise to everything we take in today.
Biennials are a strange thing by their nature. Meant to represent the cream of the artistic crop, these biannual events offer an implicit promise for both artistic excellence (however one chooses to define that these days) and sharp social commentary. In this way the art displayed at a biennial serves a dual purpose: to assure highbrow connoisseurs that quality fine art is still being produced, and at the same time to reflect the zeitgeist. This zeitgeist does not belong to the rarified air of the New York art world, however, or the downtown scenesters sipping wine out of plastic cups in the antiseptic spaces of Chelsea art galleries. The zeitgeist is messy. It consists of violent video games, mass shootings, mind-boggling inequality, opiate addiction, racial tension, social media, and a consumer economy based on cheap labor, disposable products, and omnipresent advertising. In other words, it is about as far from 19th century French impressionism as one could possibly get.
On the occasion of “Too Late: the European Can(n)on is Here,” their second dual exhibition together at Shoestring Press, artists Lane Sell and Phil Rabovsky sat down with curator Madeleine Boucher in a tiny Brooklyn living room over no small amount of whiskey.
Currently on view are exhibits featuring the work of Irving Penn and Rei Kawakubo for fashion house, Comme des Garçons. I went to view both spectacles in the same day and saw Irving Penn’s photographs first. This retrospective of Penn’s work is the largest to date and celebrates the centennial of the artist’s birth.
s there a more backhanded compliment for an artist than “artist’s artist?” This term denotes an artist whose work is of such quality that it was really only celebrated by other artists during their time.
What a difference a month can make. When the first reviews of the 2017 edition of the Whitney Biennial came out before the exhibition was open to the public, there was a curiousunivocity or single voice at play amongmost of the critics who initially reviewed the show.
If you looked down from the sky or had an aerial view of the Memorial ACTe (Caribbean Centre for the Expressions and Memory of African Slave Trade & Slavery), the new memorial museum that opened in Guadeloupe in 2015
The first thing I did after seeing Kerry James Marshall’s monumental paintings at the Met Breuer last week is to go home and read. I’ve been reading everyday since. I could give a lot of reasons for reading: I could list what I’ve been reading and that may help me to answer the reasons.
Historical montages, genre paintings, hidden symbols, landscape themes, religious undertones, racial subjects, murals, glitter, comic books, mixed media and a plethora of the black figures, merely touches upon what encompasses the Kerry James Marshall: Mastry Exhibition at the Met Breuer.