I have to commend Kerry James Marshall for his goal of ensuring that African-Americans are represented in the Art History books of the future and that this presence is one that will make those of African descent proud. The acclaimed Birmingham, Alabama born and South Central Los Angeles raised artist has done his part for years by creating powerful and complex figurative artwork that placed African-Americans front and center. He states that he did this intentionally to counteract the portrayal of those of African descent as slaves, servants and conquered subjects that you often see in the works of what is knows as the “Old Art Masters” and in most of the existing Art History books. With the widely celebrated talents of African-American artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kara Walker, Yinka Shonibare, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and Steve McQueen there is hope on the horizon but there is still much to do according to Kerry to make sure that ethnic artists have fair representation in the Art History books of the future. I believe that this quote from Kerry Marshall sums up his purpose and highlight his passion and hopefully it is one other artists of African descent embrace and act upon until the goal is achieved.
What is of value in the work I have done is that I am bringing with me an image that a lot of other people are afraid to bring into the mainstream. Eventually, I want the presence of black figures in the art-history books to be commonplace.
Please visit the link below to learn more:
Kerry James Marshall: Challenging Racism in Art History
via BBC Culture