Meet Kerry James Marshall
September 19, 2013
Artists often visit the American Art Museum to give a lecture, meet with staff, or to attend the opening of an exhibition. When they do, we like to grab them (if they are willing) and film them talking about their work. We did this recently with Kerry James Marshall, whose painting SOB, SOB is currently on view in the Lincoln Gallery on the third floor of the museum. Hearing directly from the artist about their work is a wonderful experience, one that can't be replicated by simply reading a wall label (or a blog post!).
In the video, Marshall discusses his intent for this painting, and looks closely at the different elements —from the books on the shelves to the clothing that the figure wears. He feels strongly that our experience of art and art history is still grounded in European works, which portray mostly white figures. He hopes to begin to change this with his own paintings, which are dominated by visually powerful African American figures. He wants visitors to the museum to be confronted by these images as central to the narrative: the narrative of the painting but also the broader narrative of American art. Take a look at the painting and then watch the video. Does your interpretation of the work change?
Hear from more American artists in our "Meet the artist series on YouTube.
Related: Read more on Eye Level about Kerry James Marshall.
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