As we are in this pivotal time in the history of civil rights, art still has the power the make people think outside of the box and imagine a new world. In the world of contemporary art, black artists are continuing to carve out space for themselves and create works that speak to the black experience and broader issues. AS IF Magazine has rounded a few notable black artists to follow and continue supporting right now as well work to give more voices to artists of color.
Nina Chanel Abney’s work is a mix of both representation and abstraction addressing contemporary issues of race, religion, politics, and sex. Color and disjointed scale compromise this artist’s signature style. Her first solo exhibition, Nina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush, crated by Marshall Price, Nancy Hanks curator of modern and contemporary art, debuted at the Nasher Museum of Art in North Carolina. Several of her works have touched on issues of policing, a hot button topic right now.
Amy Sherald is best known for painting the official portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama. The primary focus of her work is telling African American stories through their own self-tradition. Her art style focuses on the use grisaille to portray skin tones in a way that challenge concept of color-as-race.
Nick Cave might not prefer a canvas as his method for artistic expression, but nonetheless he’s an artist. He is best known for his unique fabric sculptures and soundsuit costumes that conceal a person’s race and gender, so the performance becomes about the work and not any preconceived notions. He created these costumes in response to the 1992 police beating of Rodney king. He continues to address issues of racial inequality as part of his platform as an artist.