In the wake of Trump administration’s xenophobic and racist agenda, from attempts to erect a wall between our southern border and Mexico, to the travel ban, which inhibits immigrants from African and Middle Eastern countries, Avenue 50 Studios celebrates racial solidarity in its latest exhibition Black & Brown Love is Revolutionary. Co-curated by Miranda Ynez Botello-Rivera and Peter Woods (Writ Large Press), the exhibition is intended to “praise art that is unapologetically Black, Brown, Resilient, and Powerful.” At the heart of this identity driven exhibition is the notion of art as activism. Activist artists often explore, assert, or complicate the notion of identity with the intention that their artistic perspective “will become the new powerful agents of change and drive”. When considering art as a driver for social upheaval and change one has to look no further than featured artist, Umar Rashid known more widely as Frohawk 2 Feathers who has earned international acclaim for his politically engaged, socially conscious practice.
Born in Chicago Illinois in 1976, Frohawk 2 Feathers mobilizes painting, drawing, and map-making to quite literally rewrite history. Of African and Native American descent, 2 Feathers recalls colonial battle imagery in the series entitled Furious Five. Furious Five, (a Potential nod to the hip-hop group Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five) celebrates an imagined past, the four wooden panels are used to convey a legible battle narrative between Indigenous warriors and European colonizers. Through a meticulous yet emotive application of acrylic and ink, 2 Feathers mixes fact with fiction, disrupting our sense of reality. As an artistic approach, this critical re-imagination of colonialism is aimed to inform our subsequent perspective. In an interview with Ellen C. Caldwell for KCET, 2 Feathers states: “I’m really building on a past to create this different future.” 2 Feathers’ ambition to construct a radically new world out of past oppression beautifully articulates the goal for the exhibition Black & Brown Love is Revolutionary. I encourage anyone and everyone to come to Avenue 50 Studios to experience the unique visions of these young, insightful artists.
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Black & Brown Love is Revolutionary @ Avenue 50 Studio, 131 North Avenue 50, Los Angeles, CA 90042
Exhibit runs from February 11 through March 4, 2017