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!
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
“The Negro has been run over for 50 years, but it must stop now, and pistols and shotguns are the only weapons to stop a mob.”~ Eli Cooper As a farmer and an outspoken advocate for unionizing farm laborers, Eli Cooper was determined to fight for better wages from landowners, however his advocacy was met … Continue reading Artist a Day: Melvin Edwards
Our recollection of history is malleable, and confronting this paradox takes us down a tricky path of potholes filled with denial and subjectivities. The debate over Civil War monuments could have been a shorter one if we collectively had a better understanding of our history and the presence of mind to challenge our understanding … Continue reading On Monuments and Men
To signify means, “to make a sign or signal”. In a NYT book review penned by professor John Wideman in 1988, the writer explains how the practice of “signifying” assumes a more nuanced connotation within the black community. “In black vernacular, Signifying is a sign that words cannot be trusted, that even the most literal utterance … Continue reading Last Call! Signifying Form at the Landing Gallery
For 3 years I have dedicated the month of February to daily posts that celebrate black artists. It was a personal writing challenge as much as it was an artistic one because I wanted to expand my knowledge of black contemporary artists that were underrepresented in traditional arts publications. The artists I featured have greatly influenced the work that … Continue reading New Definitions (and Questions) of Power Emerge in a Show Featuring Black Women Artists
I recently encountered two similar works of art, one in L.A. and the other online: the first is by an artist with a 40+ year career who has self selected out of the U.S. art scene for over 2 decades and the second is from a Kenyan born artist with a Brooklyn based practice … Continue reading Talking Heads: Jimmie Durham & Wangechi Mutu