Black Magic: AfroPasts/AfroFutures
Magical Realism & Afrofuturism in the Black Diaspora
Curated by Niama Safia Sandy
August 19 – October 7, 2017
Opening Reception August 19th, 5:00pm – 8:00pm
1241 Good Hope R. SE
Washington, DC 20020
Curator Niama Safia Sandy’s Black Magic: AfroPasts/AfroFutures exhibition will make its Washington, DC debut this August at Honfleur Gallery. The exhibit is a multidisciplinary exploration of magical realism and Afrofuturism as creative expressions and survival tactics across the Black Diaspora. Black Magic: AfroPasts/AfroFutures will run August 19 – October 7 at Honfleur Gallery (located at 1241 Good Hope Road SE, WDC 20020).
Black Magic Shorts Festival will be held on August 20 2:00-5:30 p.m. An artist talk will be held on September 16 at 5:00-7:00 p.m. Gallery hours are Wednesday – Saturday, 12-7PM and by appointment.
“Magical realism and Afrofuturism are, in fact, two nodes on a continuum of black creative output. They act as an epi-genetic phenomena cum worldview, celebration, and a creative response of and to Black life – this is the guiding principle of the Black Magic: AfroPasts/AfroFutures exhibition. To further contextualize, I do not invoke magical realism as merely a literary genre, but instead a very active actuality for we – the black and brown people of this earth,” Niama Safia Sandy explained.
This engagement is Sandy’s second exploration of the subject matter following the show’s debut at Corridor Gallery in Brooklyn in April 2016. This iteration of the show brings together renowned black artists from all over the world including: Chloë Bass, Pierre Bennu, Jamea Richmond-Edwards, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Ivan Forde, Adrienne Gaither, CharlesJean-Pierre, Tariku Shiferaw, and Danny Simmons.
About the Artists:
Chloë Bass is a multi-form conceptual artist working in performance, situation, publication, and installation. Her work addresses scales of intimacy, where patterns hold and break as group sizes expand, and daily life as a site of deep research. Her current project, The Book of Everyday Instruction, is an eight-chapter investigation into one-on-one social interaction. Chloë is a 2017
– 2018 Workspace resident at the Center for Book Arts, and a 2017 studio resident at Triangle Arts Association.
Pierre Bennu is a multimedia artist working in paint, film, digital video, sculpture, sound art, puppetry and performance. Much of his work utilizes found materials, and seeks to map the landscape and language of joy, imagination & blackness. He relishes creating sacred items out of the overlooked and discarded.
Jamea Richmond-Edwards is a Detroit-bred visual artist. A graduate Jackson State University and Howard University, Richmond-Edwards offers a repertoire of portraits of women drawn using ink, graphite and mixed media collage. Richmond-Edward’s work has garnered the attention of various art critics including in the Washington Post and the Huffington Post’s “Black Artists: 30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know.”
Adama Delphine Fawundu is a New York City-based multi-media visual artist interested in identities that internalize and counteract the socio-political norms in Westernized and post- colonial societies. Through self-portraits, Ms. Fawundu explores the idea of an African identity and the collective unconscious (memory), the identity of women, and the complexities of race and class. Fawundu is New York Foundation for the Arts fellow, and will complete an MFA at Columbia University in 2018.
Ivan Forde is an artist working across printmaking, digital video, sound performance, and installation. His “Transformation” series of photographs was awarded first place in fine art collage at the 2012 Lucie Foundation International Photography Awards in Los Angeles, California. Residencies and fellowships include the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, ACRE (Artist Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions), Vermont Studio Center, Pioneer Works, the Lower East Side Printshop Key Holder Residency program, Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (shortlisted finalist), and the Sharp Snug Harbor: Edward and Sally Van Lier fellowship. Group exhibitions and performances include Studio Museum Harlem Postcards, The Jewish Museum, The Whitney Museum, The DC Arts Center, Lower East Side Printshop, Gallery Projekt 72, Denny Gallery, the International Print Center, and a solo exhibition at The Newhouse Contemporary Art Center Staten Island, NY. Ivan graduated from SUNY Purchase College with a B.A. in Literature and is currently an MFA candidate at Columbia University.
Adrienne Gaither is a visual artist whose work explores identity and black imagination through painting and installations. Her work attempts to challenge ideologies that perpetuate hierarchical structures. Gaither’s paintings reflect her deep interest of political histories, incorporating footage from old archives and contemporary news into subversions of geometric abstractions. She has exhibited at Strathmore in Bethesda, MD, The National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center, Wilberforce, OH, PRIZM Art Fair at Miami Art Basel, and MoCADA (Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts) in Brooklyn, NY. Gaither lives and works in Washington, DC.
Charles Jean-Pierre is a Haitian-American Artist and American University adjunct professor. He is a U.S. State Department Art in Embassies Artist. Jean-Pierre has participated in two Smithsonian exhibitions and has been invited by the White House to speak on the role of the arts in Youth Justice. His work is in the permanent collection of the U.S. Embassy in Cotonou, Benin West Africa. Jean-Pierre has created public art in New York, Chicago, DC, Istanbul, Panama, Port-au-Prince, London, and Paris. He began experimenting with art at an early age by creating visual narratives based on classical paintings from his homeland. His work speaks to the nexus of political, social, and economic structures. Jean-Pierre holds a Masters of Arts from Howard University.
Tariku Shiferaw is a Brooklyn based artist whose work deals with mark-making in ways that addresses both the physical and the metaphysical spaces of painting and societal structures. Shiferaw has exhibited throughout New York and Los Angeles. Recent exhibitions include The 2017 Whitney Biennial, as part of Occupy Museums’ Debtfair (New York, 2017); Hard Cry, Lubov (New York, 2017); One of These Black Boys, Anthony Philip Fine Art (Brooklyn, 2017); Introduction 2016, Trestle Gallery (Brooklyn, 2016); The LA Art Show, Werd Gallery (Los Angeles, 2016); ATAVAST, Roomservice/Standard Practice (Brooklyn, 2015); New Work New York, 1st MFA Biennial Presented by St. Nicks Alliance & Arts@Renaissance (Brooklyn, 2015).
Danny Simmons, Jr. is an American abstract painter from Queens, NY, who once coined his particular style of painting as “neo- African Abstract Expressionism.” His talent and passion for the arts reaches beyond the canvas. He is a published author, poet, painter, television producer hit HBO show Def Poetry Jam and art philanthropist. He has become a leader in the art world with his philanthropic ventures, artistic talents and creative mind and drive. Simmons is co-founder, along with his siblings, music mogul Russell, and Hip-Hop legend Joseph Simmons aka “Rev Run” of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and the President of Rush Arts Galleries.
The New York Times, in reviewing one of his exhibitions, described Simmons’ abstract works as fresh and “meticulously rendered and decoratively impressive.” Today, his works are in collections around the globe, including: Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn Museum, Chase Manhattan Bank, Deutsche Bank, The Schomburg Center for Black Culture, The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, The United Nations. Since in 2015, he has served as a scholarly consultant for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, DC.
Niama Safia Sandy is a New York-based cultural anthropologist, curator, and essayist. Niama believes that we personify the wildest dreams and joys of our ancestors. Simply put, this is the core mandate her work. She sees her role, as that of an agitator – one who endeavors to simultaneously call into question and make sense of the seemingly arbitrary nature of modern life and to celebrate our shared humanity in the process, while developing critical and creative modalities grounded in histories of the global Black Diaspora to enable others to do the same.