Ferment, Curated by Ivy Hurwit. SLAG MAG VOL. 3/ ISSUE 4, Old Furnace Residency, New Market, Virginia. October 2018
10 L.A. Artists Whose Work You Probably Don’t Know—But Should
By Doug Harvey, Oct 31, 2017
These days, Walsh is known in the L.A. art community for his regular performances as The Keith Walsh Experience, an entirely unironic one-man-band with hundreds of original compositions (and a dozen self-released albums) rooted in rockabilly, glam, Krautrock, and jazz. But through the early 2000s, Walsh was also producing some of the most interesting sculptures in town—strange high-tech, furniture-like constructions that melded sci-fi futurism with cargo-cult classicism, augmented by masterfully designed collages and paintings. His most recent works, like Black Liberation and Socialism in America (2017), apply these high-modernist design instincts to the history of radical political movements in 20th-century America. He produces faux-ephemera, including flow-charts and diagrams, but mostly posters and magazine pages that look as if Francis Picabia had lived long enough to donate his services to the Black Panthers.
ICONIC: Black Panther
Gregorio Escalante Gallery,
ART AND CAKE.COM
By Amy Kaeser, May 5, 2017
“50 Artists Interpret 50 Years of the Black Panther Party,” is the subscript for a show dedicated to the Black Panther Party (BPP) and their publication, Black Panther. As the largest show ever devoted to the BPP, ICONIC: Black Panther at Gregorio Escalante Gallery in Los Angeles’ Chinatown district, showcases artist’s whose work engages with the legacy of BPP, the Civil Rights Movement, social justice, the Black Lives Matter movement, racism and gender discrimination, and minority visibility in the media. The organizers of ICONIC, the SEPIA Collective, a Los Angeles-based, non-profit group of multi-cultural artists, activists, and curators celebrates the history and significant, albeit controversial, Black Panthers.
Founded in 1966 in Oakland, CA by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton, the organization, initially called Black Panther Party for Self-Defiance is an African American revolutionary party founded to patrol neighborhoods and protect residents from police brutality. The significance in highlighting the BPP now cannot be understated—from Ferguson and the unjust killing of Michael Brown to the 25th anniversary of the L.A. Riots—the work in the show speaks loud and clear to the unequal treatment of African-Americans in this country and the visibility of police brutality in the age of social media.
Three separate spaces display the work of the fifty artists who contributed work for ICONIC. Well-established, mid-career artists (Shepard Fairey, Sundus Abdul Hadi, Keith Walsh, and Emory Douglas, who is an early member of BPP and created images for the Black Panther publication) as well as emerging artists (Ryan McCann, Tsilil Tsemet) create works that directly reference BPP or engage in a discourse on social justice. Fairey’s Bobby Seal (2004) a silkscreened, mixed media collage, is the image that greets visitors to the gallery as well as the homepage and sent postcard media. In his “signature style,” Fairey represents Seale in the red and black tones, the “OBEY” slogan prominently positioned at the center of the credo, “Peace, Obey, Freedom.” Keith Walsh’s Black Liberation and Socialism (2017), ink and flashe on paper, considers the relationships between activists and organizations with Huey P. Newton as the central figure. Tatiana El-Khouri’s Angela Davis (2017), mixed media on canvas, combines collaged images of Davis and BPP in headlines and news articles, “Free Angela” leaflets, and demonstration flyers with a portrait of Davis overlaid in tones of blues and greens. Regarding the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” cry calling attention to police brutality, Pilar Aguero-Esparza’s Ferguson 7: Sepia and Mahogany (2017), crayon, color pencil on paper, is a simple yet powerful image of resistance.