Tag Archive | African-American

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Mannequin Bust

Pink Mannequin Bust
Photo By Gail

What’s most interesting about this Hot Pink bust of a lovely African American lady, is that it’s not in use as your standard display mannequin, despite the fact that it is clearly in the middle of a clothing section of a department store. In this instance, it is really more like a sculpture; more like  a work of art meant to enhance the consumer’s shopping experience, I think. In my case, it was highly effective.

Photographed at Saks Fifth Avenue, The Gardens on El Paseo, Palm Desert, California.

Fred Wilson’s Guarded View

Fred Wilson Guarded View
Photo By Gail

Fred Wilson’s Guarded View (1991) aggressively confronts viewers with four black, headless mannequins dressed as museum guards. Each figure wears a uniform, dating to the early 1990s, from one of four New York cultural institutions: the Jewish Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Modern Art.

Despite this specificity, the faceless mannequins underscore the anonymity expected of security personnel, who are tasked with protecting art and the public while remaining inconspicuous. It also addresses the racial dynamics of the museum space, in which the guards may be the only people of color present.

This work originally appeared in the Whitney’s then-controversial 1994 exhibition, Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art, which would prove to be a defining moment for the burgeoning movement of identity politics.

Fred Wilson Guarded View

Hedy Klineman’s Ancestral Spirits, African-American Portraits at Smart Clothes Gallery

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits
All Photos By Gail

Hedy Klineman’s Ancestral Spirits, African-American Portraits, is a solo exhibition of more than twenty paintings from two series on view at Smart Clothes Gallery through December 20th, 2013.

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits
Detail from Painting Above

The genesis of the African-American Portraits is framed by two significant events. In the eighties, Andy Warhol presented Klineman with a pair of his glasses, which she would incorporate into one of her “Fashion Portraits,” marking her first use of the silkscreen technique. Donning the eyewear, she exclaimed that she ‘saw the world Andy sees.’ Years later, she received an African mask on her birthday. Instinctually, she put it on, repeating the gesture in a silkscreened self-portrait. These gifts and their presentation echo a kind of ceremony, and their performance would give Klineman new perspective on her art.

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits Russell Simmons

Since then, Klineman has been commissioned to create portraits for some of the most eminent members of the African-American cultural community, including Russell and Danny Simmons, Mary Schmidt Campbell, dance choreographer Bill T. Jones and actor Malik Yoba. Her choice of masks reflects a sensitivity to the cultural significance of these objects and their innate beauty. Ancestry is reawakened through the masquerade of photographic superimposition. The earlier sister series, Ancestral Spirits, is a celebration of indigenous sculpture in the tradition of modern art’s fascination with these objects.

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits

If these paintings are in the mode of Pop icons, Hedy Klineman’s spiritual counter-narrative for the process is entirely her own. Employing an understanding of essence influenced by Eastern philosophy, her silkscreened paintings hold the presence of their subjects within. Coupled with colorful grounds that relate tothe artist’s history as an abstract painter,

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits Statues

Ancestral Spirits, African-American Portraits is a celebration of ancestry and community.

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits

Hedy Klineman’s Ancestral Spirits, African-American Portraits will be on Exhibit Through December 20th, 2013 at Smart Clothes Gallery, located 154 Stanton Street (Corner of Suffolk St), New York, NY 10012. Hours are 12:00 Noon To 6:00 PM
Wednesday to Sunday.

Hedy Klineman Ancestral Spirits Signage