Fresh Art International

Fresh Art International header image 1

Black in America

September 3rd, 2018

What does it mean to be Black in 21st century America? The expression of Blackness in art has a history of intricate connections to civil rights and social movements. In the United States and abroad, painting and drawing, filmmaking and photography, performance and protest have long represented diverse creative perspectives on the volatile subject of race and identity in this country.

Today, we hear from curators and artists whose work directly engages with race and American identity. Individually and collectively, they generate “freestyle” expressions of Blackness—revealing that no matter how history influences the Black cultural space, identity remains a fluid form in the hands of contemporary artists.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Photos courtesy of featured artists and the Renaissance Society

Featured Audio: Thelma Golden at Crystal Bridges Museum of American ArtHamza Walker, Black Is, Black Ain't Symposium, Renaissance SocietyJohanne Rahaman field recordings in South FloridaTheaster Gates at Katzen Arts Center, American UniversityTheaster Gates performs at Huguenot House in Kassel, Germany, for documenta 13Sanford Biggers, BAM (For Michael)Fahamu Pecou, All that Glitters Ain't GoalsAmy Sherald at Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago 

Related Episodes: Modern Black Portrait of FloridaJefferson Pinder on Symbols of Power and StruggleTheaster Gates on Meaning, Making and ReconciliationSanford Biggers on Time and the Human ConditionAmy Sherald on New Racial NarrativesFahamu Pecou on Art x Hip-Hop

Related links: Thelma GoldenStudio Museum of HarlemFreestyleHamza WalkerBlack Is, Black Ain'tJohanne RahamanJefferson PinderTheaster GatesSanford BiggersAmy SheraldFahamu PecouDeborah Roberts