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Showing posts from May, 2015

Art & Social Trauma and the role of Black artists

What does it mean to be a Black artist in the age of social consciousness? The protests, the unrest and the BlackLivesMatter movement is sweeping the nation causing a shift in the national consciousness and shining a light on the disparity of privilege and mass incarceration. Thousands of people are marching in the streets demanding that America, a country built on the premise of civil liberty speak out valiantly that justice and accountability must be afforded to all its citizens equally.
 As an artist and a human being I'm drawn to the visceral affect of the faces I have seen on TV and in protests marches. I am mortified when I see some of the news media demonize and cast protesters as sub-human and not people who are angry, desperate and unable to breathe under the oppression of a system setup for them to live in the margins of society. While we are familiar with this narrative it's important that the images that are thrust in front of us are not just media driven. Is it th…

Who's art is it anyway?

Recently, I had a long discussion with another artist about artist assistants. She believed that if assistants were doing most of the labor then the final work was a "collaborative" piece. What became obvious after a twenty-five minute (let's agree to disagree) discussion is that this is a major topic within the art world. Apprenticeships or artist assistants has been going on since the 14th century with little fan fare or disapproval. However, today most people are complaining that artists like Damien Hirst, Khinde Wiley and others are having studio assistants preform all the hard labor when it comes to producing their works. How do you generate mass amounts of work without help when you have garnered the attention of the art world, which can be short-lived and fickle? Is this fair?
The notion of assistants will never really be resolved because some artists are going to champion the idea and others are going to view it as cheating. I think it is not fair to criticize a…