"How much does the cash-drunk New York art industry care about racism, neocolonialism, wanton consumption, persistent sexism, environmental spoilage or any other global realities? Next to not at all. How much does the same industry care about big, superbly made objects that pleasure the eye? Hugely.
For the past decade and a half, the artist Wangechi Mutu has been combining both elements — unpopular content and desirable form — in a series of magnetic, salon-size figurative collages that are as politically nuanced as they are visually ravishing.”
"…Though other Americans of African decent had worked at the studio, Mike McKinney and I were the first to be on track to be animators, and Disney was making sure the world knew it. This publicity shot went to magazines and newspapers across the country.
The article is from this February 1978 issue of Ebony Magazine. “
Must we accept the idea that black (figurative) artists have arrived late in the history of art and have been sidelined by art as a whole? Must black figurative art be a corrective measure of the the omittance of black figures in western art? Is that corrective measure predicated on the acceptance of an incomplete and wholly occidental narrative of art history?
"In the places that come to represent what beauty comes to represent.. when you are not represented there that is a problem. …the same thing is true in the realm of comic books and-"
"Yes, that is Spiderman… already… the image and the idea of what spiderman represents is already internalized as a part of his concept of what constitutes the hero."
"We only see works in the museum by european artists…to allow that to stand unchallenged is unhealthy"
As he compares fine art with pop culture, a five year old interrupts Kerry James presentation on the relevance of figurative art.
"…Leonard seemed to question everything in his environment, from religion to ways of living in general. Although he was liked by just about everyone, he apparently could not accept the "normal" world as others perceived it.
In fact, he seems to have had many brilliant ideas, but there is evidence that he could not, or at least did not, focus on any one thing long enough to bring it to completion!