Photographer: L. Herrada-Rios
Blackball Universe presents: “Black to the Future” – Afro-Futurism Defined
Show: August 3-31st Saturdays: 12-5pm
Reception Party: August 16th (Fri) at 7pm
230 Madison Street Oakland, CA 94607
“Black to the Future” premieres on August 3rd at our Blackball Universe Gallery, re-introducing our inaugural artist Norman Maxwell along with Deadeyes and Nelson Enriquez. This collaboration comments on afro-futurism and diverse cultural influences.
Norman Maxwell, our first featured artist, began his career as a graffiti artist in 1979. After an art school education and decades of dedication, Maxwell developed a unique and expressive style that reaches a wide audience of admirers. His hefty resume includes art direction and set design for the music videos of Madonna, Janet Jackson, John Legend, and Iggy Pop to name a few. Blending street art and classical aesthetics in a deep exploration of urban symbolism, Maxwell reaches for a self-declared “visual soul” style that explores themes consistent with Afro-Futurism.
Deadeyes first started as an artist by lifting ideas from his zine writings and incorporating them through street art, murals, and installations. Inspired by the street art characters in the San Francisco mission in the late 90’s, he began creating visuals similar to tribal masks. He developed his characters by exploring the fluidity of his lines. He discovered diverse cultural influences in his works, with symbols from traditional African, Inuit, Polynesian, and Native American art forms. He believes that this new visual language from various styles will enable his viewers to accept the combinations of culture in their daily lives.
Nelson Enriquez is a multidisciplinary artist primarily focused in painting, photography, video, and mixed media. Born in Havana, Cuba, Nelson’s work is both social and sometimes biographical, exploring themes of immigration, travel, frontiers, consumerism, and material scarcity. Nelson has exhibited widely in Cuba, Germany, and the U.S. in both personal and collective exhibitions. E has received international awards from “Europa Abierta” and the Cuban National Festival of Ephemeral Sculpture.
Deadeyes, Ras Terms, Safety First, AshRose, Antjaun Oden
The Black Futurists: Black Progressive Thought to Science Fiction
May 19th – Thursday
6pm – 10pm
…audio transmissions by dj fflood
with Talia and Wordup on the mic
African American Art & Cultural Complex
762 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA
In this exhibition, the message is about the Black Futurism, which combines elements of science fiction, fantasy, and Afrocentricity.
In the late 1990s, a number of cultural critics, notably Mark Dery in his 1995 essay Black to the Future, began to write about the features they saw as common in the African-American science fiction, music, and art. Dery dubbed this phenomenon “Afro-Futurism”.
Examples of seminal “AfroFurtusitc” works include the novels of Samuel R. Delany and Octavia Butler; the canvases of Jean-Michel Basquiat and the photography of Renée Coz; as well as the extraterrestrial mythos of Parliament-Funkadelic, Lee Scratch Perry, Sun Ra, Broun Fellinis, Alice Coltrane and Electric Miles and the sonic tests of DJ Spooky. These artists took their art form beyond the existing limits and brought in many elements outside the Black experience including: science fiction, elements of rock and world music, art movements, technology infused with Black identity, culture and the ideas of Black life in the future. Black Diamond Shining will celebrate The Black Futurists, who are the heroes of this culture – past and present – and visually show examples of the themes of Black Futurism with their paintings
Come out this Friday. The first installment at a look in Modern Cultural Folk Art.
Basement Gallery 1027 3rd street, Oakland