Newsome’s work is deeply invested in how images used in media and popular culture communicate distorted notions of power. He draws attention to the contributions that marginalized communities, whose culture is often absorbed and co-opted by mainstream advertising platforms, have made to Pop culture and society in general. During his talk, Newsome will discuss his use of the diasporic tradition of improvisation and collage as a tool to achieve abstraction. At the heart of his practice is the tenacity and resilience of marginalized communities to create globally celebrated cultural productions, despite living within what scholar bells hooks names the capitalist, imperialist, white supremacist, patriarchy. His work speaks to the power of the human spirit to reinvent and transform itself as evidenced in the Black and Queer cultural practices referenced and abstracted throughout the work.
Based in New York City, Rashaad Newsome is a multidisciplinary artist whose work blends several practices together including collage, sculpture, film, music, computer programming, and performance, to form an altogether new field. He has exhibited and performed in numerous galleries, museums, institutions, and festivals throughout the world including: The Studio Museum in Harlem (NYC), The National Museum of African American History and Culture (DC), The Whitney Museum (NYC), Brooklyn Museum (NYC), MoMAPS1 (NYC), SFMOMA (CA), New Orleans Museum of Art (LA), Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris). Newsome’s work is in numerous public collections worldwide. His many honors and awards include a 2018 William Penn Foundation Grant, the 2018/2019 Live Feed Creative Residency at New York Live Arts, a 2017/2018 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, and a 2017 Rush Arts Gold Rush Award.
Image: Rashad Newsome, Look Back At It!, 2016. collage in custom frame with leather, automotive paint, and swarovski crystals; 72 ¼ x 72 ¼ x 4 inches. Courtesy the artist.