Simone Leigh – Sculptor, Filmmaker

SimoneLeighPicStitch

I think I gasped when I first saw a cowrie shell sculpture by Simone Leigh. Literally, gasped. Her sculptures are a magnificent culmination of African Diasporian culture. Like the sculptures found throughout West Africa, Leigh’s works communicate messages from the past, present, and future. It’s the subtleties of her work that convey the most information – the cast iron blackness, the softly tinted colored roses, the speckles on the cowrie shell. It’s the anthropologic elements that I like most about Leigh’s work. The underlying messages of race and culture that reads like a Zora Neale Huston book. Most importantly, I dig those cowries ALOT!

Last summer, she created an installation called the Free People’s Medical Clinic for Creative Time’s community-based, art exhibition, Funk, God, Jazz, and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn. The installation, while giving homage to black female medical workers, was an interactive exploration of public health care. In addition to unique performances, the clinic provided humane healthcare experiences such as yoga and acupuncture sessions, health screenings, and black folk dance classes. All classes, workshops, and services were offered by Brooklyn-based practitioners.

Leigh is on that art {goddess} flow. Peep more of her work at http://www.simoneleigh.com/.

Titus Kaphar – Painter, Sculptor, Filmmaker

TitusKapharPicStitch
(l to r) 1. Excavation (The Invisible Man); 2. Time Travel; 3. Boys in Winter; 4. Sacrifice; 5. Self Evident

Titus Kaphar is pushing art into a new space by literally cutting, bending, and painting over…space. It’s a refreshing approach to a medium that can, at times, seem repetitive or empty – you know, shock value for shock value’s sake. But Kaphar’s work has depth, energy, life. He takes classical works and recreates them by adding the black image; that dark figure, historically present but rarely acknowledged. I’m really digging Kaphar’s work and I can’t wait to see what he does next. See more of his dopeness at http://tituskaphar.com/.