We are the witnesses and actors within a crucial time in American history, at a crossroads of the concluding chapter of the first black presidency and the audacity of dreaming of social justice and equality versus the counter-reactionary of a demagogue candidate for president that openly promotes bigotry and violence.
Three renowned contemporary artists, Chor Boogie, Stuart Sheldon, and Ashley Reid, present uncompromising visual political and social commentary in American Banned. Essentially nonpartisan, the collective body of work provokes political discourse, spurs citizens to participate in the political process, and examines systemic violence, racism, and oppression.
“We don’t have to debate whether art should be political — it always is.”
– Dickson Stone
The European Magazine
Art is now understood as the way in which an artist responds to reality. It provides the artist with a means to relate social commentary in a profound (and often extremely subtle) way, and it opens the floor for debate, philosophy, critique and inspiration.
Select works from American Banned will be exhibited November 29th – December 4th at Scope Miami Beach 2016, during the week of Art Basel Miami, North America’s foremost international modern and contemporary art fair, bringing a rare and vital political element to the annual festivities.
Chor Boogie, one of the world’s foremost masters of the spray paint medium, will premier original paintings and multimedia works. Select works from his critically acclaimed series Divided State of America project will be exhibited courtesy of the Mulye Foundation.
Stuart Sheldon will showcase a new series of artwork I’m With The Banned, an ensemble of intricate works of mixed media on canvas and paper, featuring strong shapes and piercing political statements. Mediums include acrylic, vinyl, oil crayon, gunpowder, glass bottles, spray paint, found objects, shredded pay stubs, and the artist’s own blood. Sheldon will also feature an installation and limited edition video addressing violence in society with first grade chairs, bullets, and chain.
Ashley Reid presents White Power, a passionately, anarchistic photographic and performance representation of social and authoritative culture; what the artist has perceived as the zeitgeist of this generation. With a perspective that is both critical, loving and transgressive in its kitschy approach, subjects of instant gratification, protest, police brutality, appropriation, empathy, and accountability are questioned visually through self-portraiture and her community. Performance self-portrait Privileged, Please Help presents a white man who is sitting and acting as a homeless man, but is asking for help in being privileged as opposed to being disenfranchised.