Cover: Frank Benson Juliana, 2015 Painted Accura® Xtreme Plastic rapid prototype 54 x 48 x 24 in (137.2 x 122 x 61 cm) (approx.) Courtesy of the artist; Sadie Coles, London; and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York
New Museum 2015 Triennial breaks free with Juliana Huxtable.
The Triennial is a busy event, many criticize too many artists to keep track of. I’ve chosen two, Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Juliana Huxtable.
I am looking for the representational; objects and ideas as equalizers and signifiers. Also, artists who display the ability to meld ideas of self and other. We are protagonist junkies, searching for heroes making it all too easy for the artist to scream Me. Leading the way beyond Socio-Cultural trends and habitual ways of being, whether telling a tale of love and relationships or the dynamics of particular circumstance, experience, and said trends and ways of being—the artist is tasked to let first person “I”, play second fiddle to the largest perspective of their intimations. I feel that Akunkyili Crosby is a Master of this task with her evoking collages, and Huxtable whose task is ever complex (redefining what evolution is), is well on her way. I hope the ravenous art world is kind, leaving her the time to develop and continue to grow.
Njideka Akunyili Crosby
A sense of nostalgia, maybe it’s all of the brown skin that draws me in. Or perhaps it is a deeply layered sense of quietude her compositions evoke. The collage as an evoking process, as is the case with Akyunyili Crosby’s work, is delicately balanced with patterns suggesting warmth, life, and the everyday. In that sense, I find her work very daring, as if challenging the nature of collage which at times can seem very busy. The result I find leaves me enchanted; heady, wanting, wondering, aching and in love.
Juliana’s inclusion in the New Museum’s Triennial is an opportunity to reaffirm my belief that expressions coming from the transgender community are a direct representation of the furthest reaches of human development and a mark of how far society is willing to go.
I understand this is a huge statement, but I feel secure, perhaps biased, as I too would benefit from a shake-up of the status-quo. Most of us would. For the viewer, her body is on display and if, as she says, it is the place where she dwells, her words then have the potential of an ever-evolving point of departure. A wonderful outlook considering, as the joshing goes, what comes after an ‘iennial’? The New Museum departed from their typical ‘younger than Jesus’ age range, yet inclusion simply marks a point in an intersubjective dialog initiated by the artist. We get what you’re saying and doing, and we appreciate your expression says the major institution. While this may represent the end of a chapter, it is also an opportunity for a new beginning.
Text from JUNGLE
(…)THE SPIRITUAL RESIDUE OF ‘CAPITALISM PLUS DOPE EQUALS GENOCIDE’ AND THE PROTECTIVE OPTIMISM OF FREE BREAKFAST FOR THE CHILDREN SWINGS IN HOOP EARINGS SO LARGE THEY TRACE COLLARBONES WHEN JAWS DROP TO DISCLOSE LYRICALLY THAT THERE IS A STILL A PLACE WHERE BLACK UNICORNS RUN FREELY. BANTU KNOTS AND BALD HEADS WITH THICKLY LINED LIPS OCCASION A MOMENT TO MEMORIALIZE THE HOOD SURREALISM OF HYPE WILLIAMS AND THE FUTURES OF OCTAVIA BUTLER (AND THE IMAGES THAT FRONT THE COVERS OF HER BOOKS). WHERE THE ONTOLOGICAL CHAINS OF THE ATLANTIC TRIANGLE REVERBERATE TO SHATTERING POINT IN PATTERNS, BEATS, RHYMES AND TECHNICOLOR INSISTENCES ON A NEW NEW WORLD WHERE THE COMMON THREAD IS SHARED WITH MISSY WHEN SHE SAYS: I CANT STAND THE RAIN (ME I’M SUPERFLY). BEYOND THE MOUNTAINS, AALIYAH CROONS ‘MORE THAN A WOMAN’ AND BROKEN STATICY CLIPS OF ANGELA DAVIS SPEECHES PLAYING ON LEFTIST AM RADIO PROVIDE THE ‘FEELS LIKE’ ADDITION TO THE GENERAL CLIMATE READING OF THE MORNING WEATHER…”
Juliana Huxtable, born in 1987, receives positive attention for her music, visual art and writing. Her matter-of-fact style and content of discourse weaves the experience of gender, sexuality, class, consumerism, and the black experience. All fashionably packaged in an Afrofuturistic Presence. Frank Benson’s hyperreal sculpture Juliana, painted in hues of green and blue is straight out of sci-fi and already the most instagrammed and tweeted image coming out of the triennial press and member preview, and opening bash. K-Hole http://khole.net/ has definitely marketed the image. Juliana is a work in progress, sublimely representing a future that we cannot pretend to know. This is unchartered territory. We will go as far as trust, confidence, and willingness to be inclusive will bring us.
Superhot — Frank Benson’s plastic sculpture of transgender artist Juliana Huxtable, in the NMTriennial pic.twitter.com/g7QVBarnaa
— Walter Robinson (@walter10065) February 24, 2015