"I tend to think having that extreme of color, that kind of black, is amazingly beautiful...and powerful. What I was thinking to do with my image was to reclaim the image of blackness as an emblem of power.”—Kerry James Marshall
Happy birthday to #BroadCollection artist Kerry James Marshall, born on this day in 1955. While Marshall currently lives and works in Chicago, he grew up in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, where the Black Power and civil rights movements profoundly influenced his artistic practice. "You can't be born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1955 and grow up in South Central [Los Angeles] near the Black Panthers headquarters, and not feel like you've got some kind of social responsibility. You can't move to Watts in 1963 and not speak about it." Marshall, a graduate of @otiscollege, developed a signature style that focuses on "unequivocally, emphatically black" subjects to address the absence of black figures in the canon of Western art history. Through his formally rigorous paintings, drawings, videos and installations, he depicts African American identity, experience and consciousness, and unflinchingly confronts racial stereotypes within contemporary American society.
Not on view: #KerryJamesMarshall, Untitled, 2017 and Untitled (Orange Pants), 2014. © Kerry James Marshall