“I grow every day and every night.”
-Dick Gregory (at Prince George’s Community College)
"A lot of my work has been about the unexpected—that kind of wanting to be the heroine and yet wanting to kill the heroine at the same time. That kind of dilemma—that push and pull—is the underlying turbulence that I bring to each of the pieces that I make."
Happy birthday today (November 26) to artist Kara Walker. Seen here is the artist at work in her New York studio in 2002, as featured in the Season 2 Stories episode from Art21’s Art in the Twenty-First Century series.
IMAGES: Production stills from the Art in the Twenty-First Century Season 2 episode, Stories, 2003. © Art21, Inc. 2003.
Faith Ringgold (1934- )
For fifty years, Faith Ringgold’s art has commented on racism and gender inequality. In her early works, the artist explores issues of racial conflict which are inextricable from her experience as an American. For instance, in the painting “Flag for the Moon: Die Nigger”, Ringgold inscribes the American flag with the words “DIE” behind the stars, and “NIGGER” within the stripes. She once explained to an interviewer, “It would be impossible for me to picture the American flag just as a flag, as if that is the whole story. I need to communicate my relationship with this flag based on my experience as a black woman in America.”
In 1972, she helped found the Women Students and Artists for Black Liberation in order to make sure that African American art exhibitions equally represented men and women.Today, she is best known for her painted story quilts, an art form that combines story telling and quilt making with genre painting.
1. Flag for the Moon: Die Nigger. 1969
2. Street Story Quilt. 1985
3. Subway Graffiti Quilt. 1987
4. Cocktail Party. 1986
“I don’t think about art when I’m working. I try to think about life.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat
You’re preaching to the choir Sheryl.
Millennials are a generation ever infatuated with image and images. We’re immersed in visual content every minute of every day. Tumblr and Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.
At this point, we’re used to seeing the likes of stereotypical imagery. Like Air New Zealand’s latest “world’s most beautiful safety video” for example or Dr. Pepper’s Manliest Low Calorie Soda in the History of Mankind commercial. Whether intended to add some fun and personality or comical relief, we see boxes being placed around imagery, most often based on gender and/or race.
Millennials aren’t buying it, figuratively or literally.
So how is it that much of what we see doesn’t mirror most of who we are?
Young and creative. Career-oriented with family values. Tattooed in corporate America. Hustlers in the start-up community. Tech savvy. Dads who do the dishes. Gasp!
Sheryl Sandberg and Getty Images get it.
Pictured above: A photo from the LeanIn collection begins the slide on the Gettyimages.com homepage. All photos are property of Getty Images.