Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is holding an exhibition called “Visions of Our 44th President“. It features 44 contemporary African-American artists using different styles and mediums of choice, all adding to a blank bust of President Barack Obama.
“After close study of each of the artists’ work, one experiences so many different emotions, understanding the artists’ talent, inspiration and creativity,” said Peter Kaplan of Our World, LLC, who collaborated with the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History on the exhibit.
“Some of the painted busts are thought provoking, serious and strong, some simply lovely and sweet; all are unique and revealing,” he added.
The blank busts are modeled after an original of Gonzales’ creation. “My aim is to expose the harmonies of form that reveal the body’s perfect design.” Gonzales said.
Allie McGhee, another artist said, “My piece is a symbol of the clear vision and intellectual dignity with which President Obama ceaslessy confronts a myriad of issues for the benefit of mankind.”
Ashley Whitfield, the guest curator, told The Huffington Post she “was very impressed with the way some artists that don’t usually work in three dimensions have managed to somehow alter their practice to accommodate this bust. They really came alive in a way that was almost kind of eerie …. all of a sudden I’m sitting in this space … surrounded by 44 busts of President Obama.”
According to Whitfield, the exhibition is not about being political or supporting the campaign, but it is about “marking a moment in history … What makes it possible for their to be an African-American president … something that was at one point completely unimaginable is now happening.”
This is not the first time that an artist has used Obama’s image as a medium in their work. In 2008, Shepard Fairey‘s “Hope” poster became synonymous with Barack Obama’s campaign. On the other side of the political spectrum, there was also Jon McNaughton‘s anti-Obama painting depicting the president burning the constitution.
“Visions of Our 44th President” will be at the Wright Museum until August 2013. It will then travel to museums, universities, galleries and libraries around the country.
At the conclusion of the tour, the busts will be on permanent exhibition at the Wright.
article by Similoluwa Ojurongbe via thegrio.com