From February 7th until April 17th, those in and around the Los Angeles area will have the privilege of visiting the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG) on 4800 Hollywood Blvd. to view an exhibit called “SKIN,” which takes a detailed and insightful look at identity and race.
The exhibition, which is comprised of 36 artists, is aimed at debunking the negative stereotypes about race, presenting racial relations in such a way that is peaceful and egalitarian. The messages are courageous, courteous, and carefully presented in a way that brings humanity together without much of the civil unrest that has beset the nation in recent memory.
Some of the artists whose art is on display at SKIN, include Audrey Chan, Bruce Richards, Jessica Wimbley, Ken Gonzales-Day, Neary Gabriel Lemus, and Zeal Harris.
Chan is a writer and educator who focuses on cultural and political rhetoric. Her “Center of the Universe” collage, which can be seen at the exhibit, juxtaposes instances of cultural peace with integrated turbulence. The imparted message is that, if we could learn to work together, then the world would be a wonderful place to live in.
Richards’ art is featured all over Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego, and San Francisco. His artwork, “Pink Slip,” shows a tire on fire. Certainly, if the tire were left alone, it would be unimpeded, and the revolutions of life would naturally follow.
Wimbley has a great reputation among academic museums and galleries. Her “Belle Jet” diagram features different layers of humanity shadowed upon each other, seemingly in harmony. There are also hourglass-like objects in the photo, demonstrating that the only hope for tranquility is perhaps time.
Gonzales-Day specializes in the historical construction of race. His “41 Objects Arranged by Color” piece delineates a series of sculptures and busts of all races that are intermingled without any issues. They simply exist undisturbed when there is no judgment cast upon them.
Harris is renowned for exploring everyday scenarios with paintings. His “Lay-In Drapeaux For Our Prince Jones” artwork examines the tragedies that have plagued blacks and how not only have their dreams been “deferred,” but their entire lives as well.
Lastly, Lemus is known for looking at cases of abuse, poverty, and neglect. His work, “First Friend,” looks at what appears to be a brown dog or wolf embracing a black cat. The question implicitly asked here is, if animals of different colors can get along, then why can’t their human counterparts?
Overall, the SKIN exhibit is highly recommended. For more information, visit lamag.org
Home page and top right: Courtesy of Ken Gonzales-Day and Charlie James
Top Center: Courtesy of Farrah Karapetian and Von Lindel Gallery
Top Left: Courtesy of Jessica Wimbley
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