Tim Rollins and K.O.S. (Kids of Survival) have been collaborating for over two decades since the 1984 launch of Rollins’ “Art and Knowledge Workshop” in the Bronx. The workshop included at risk students who began calling themselves Kids of Survival. They have since exhibited worldwide and their work is represented in the Museum of Modern Art, the Hirshhorn Museum of Art, and the Tate Gallery London.
The artists are currently presenting a new body of work inspired by the words of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Jacobs, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison and Malcolm X at Lehmann Maupin Gallery‘s Chelsea location. The ten new paintings in the exhibition consist of literary and historical book pages layered onto canvas with images painted directly on top of these texts. In Letter from Birmingham Jail #2 (after the Rev. Dr. M. L. King, Jr.), the black bars are both a literal reference to King’s confinement when he wrote and to the social injustice of the day.
Rollins studied fine art at the University of Maine and earned a B.F.A. from the School of the Visual Arts in New York. Rollins completed graduate studies in art education and philosophy at New York University before beginning to teach art for special education middle school students in a South Bronx public school.