Friday, May 29, 2009

30 Americans: A Review

A couple of days ago I visited the Rubell Family Collection’s 30 Americans, an exhibit of thirty African Americans artists featuring heavy weight hitters like Basquiat, local artist Purvis Young and Kara Walker –listed as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2007.

The artwork left my mind swarming. I was overwhelmed by the beauty and complexity of the images, which grappled with issues of gender, identity, race, sexuality, U.S. slave history and violence.

It also left me feeling that a truly liberated society is not color blind but rather exults and celebrates its technicolored population. There is nothing wrong with noticing the features that make each of us unique. It would be an awfully boring world if everyone looked like carbon copies of each other.

The human body is a canvas, too. And it’s always a joy to encounter someone beautiful, different and new. No one looks at a painting and thinks, “That shade of green is racist.” It takes well crafted colors, shapes and a certain measure of the exotic to make art beautiful and it’s the same with people, too.

Take a peek at the exhibit, which alas, ends tomorrow:

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