“Any photographer that’s been out here in the world, you see 2 people in white, you follow them…” Shawn Walker, VMFA 2017. As one of the founding members of Kamoinge, Shawn Walker dedicated his life’s work to black and white photography. He counts Roy DeCarava as one of his strongest influences, and in his 2017 … Continue reading Artist a Day: Shawn Walker
Good storytelling, just like a good joke, lives and dies on timing. It comes as no surprise that photographer Beuford Smith knows a thing or two about timing. His black and white photography capturing the streets of New York all bear the same marker of sublime, serendipitous timing. Smith’s photographs are mementos of moments which … Continue reading Artist a Day: Beuford Smith
Charles Alston’s extensive artistic career revolved around painting, sculpture, and murals where he created work that beautifully went in unpredictable directions. That was deliberate, and it’s what makes his work and career so fascinating. In a 1968 interview, Alston critiques, quite presciently, the art world’s tendency to place artists in familiar, predictable boxes: “[O]ne of … Continue reading Artist a Day: Charles Alston
In the summer of 1963 a group of Black artists in New York came together to form a collective to address the precarious state of creating art amidst societal upheaval caused by politics, racism, and social unrest. Led by Romare Bearden, Spiral was formed to tackle these philosophical issues, and its initial members included Hale Woodruff, Norman … Continue reading Artist a Day: Emma Amos
One of the last shows I attended in 2018 was the Fowler Museum’s Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Of the 200+ works on display which included tools, totems, weapons, jewelry, and adornments, the most interesting items told stories of people who commissioned blacksmiths to create pieces that told their life story. Other works … Continue reading With Gratitude, So Long 2018!
As I left Adrian Piper’s “Concepts and Intuitions” at the Hammer museum, I noticed a series of wooden structures resembling voting booths positioned outside of the exhibit’s entrance. I walked into one of the private booths steadying myself as I prepared to write in the binder that was resting on a shelf in front of … Continue reading Unsynthesized Intuitions: Confronting Discomfort with Adrian Piper
Two separate migration patterns brought Americans from the south and mid-west to California in the early 1900s: The Great Migration and the Dust Bowl. One group fled persecution under racist Jim Crow laws, while the other fled droughts exacerbated by over farming. The economic and social impacts of these migrations not only shaped the state … Continue reading Karon Davis Explores the Spirit of Home and What it Means When We Must Leave it Behind: Muddy Water at Wilding Cran