Jordan Amirkhani

From this Author

Fathi Hassan: Edge of Memory at Clark Atlanta University Art Museum

Fathi Hassan. Crossing, 2016; acrylic and gauze on paper; 58.25 x 74.8 in. Courtesy of the Artist.

In his 1978 text Orientalism, Edward Said states that the “subtle and persistent Eurocentric prejudice against Arab–Islamic peoples and their cultures” is not just bound by historical clashes, sociocultural differences, or geography, but a constellation of a “whole series of interests” predicated on the desire to control, manipulate, and incorporate “what is manifestly different.”[1] Under Western hegemonic power, the struggle for dominance in the Middle[…..]

Mickalene Thomas: Waiting on a Prime-Time Star

Mickalene Thomas, Shinique: Now I Know, 2015; Rhinestones, acrylic, and oil on wood panel. Image courtesy of the artist and Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris and Brussels).

The self is a slippery thing—an entity built on slippery grounds and shaped by slippery forces. The French psychotherapist Jacques Lacan perhaps put it best that “the self” is both something we build as well as imagine; it is located between the fictions of the ego and the fictions of the unconscious, where unity between the two remains impossible but deeply necessary for one’s development.[1][…..]

Mixed Use by Jess Jones and Gaudi-Juju by Lillian Blades at Swan Coach House Gallery

Lillian Blades. Juju-Veil, 2017; mixed media. Image courtesy of the artist and Swan Coach House Gallery (Atlanta, GA).

Dual presentations of artists can often result in hasty hierarchies of “better vs. worse” or “master vs. apprentice.” However, the recent exhibition of Jess Jones’ and Lillian Blades’ work at Atlanta’s Swan Coach House Gallery tosses all that patriarchal competitive comparison out the door by presenting the strength of their individual practices, as well as their shared interest in the history and procedures of craft.[1][…..]

Follicular: The Hair Stories of Sonya Clark at the Taubman Museum of Art

Sonya Clark. The Hair Craft Project: Hairstyles on Canvas, 2013; silk threads, beads, shells, and yarn on canvas; 29 x 29 inches. Courtesy of the Artist and the Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA.

Follicular: The Hair Stories of Sonya Clark at the Taubman Museum of Art highlights the historically rich and embodied power of Black hair, demonstrating that hair is a medium as well as a message.[1] For Clark, whose work holds a significant place in the burgeoning discourse of American contemporary craft, Black hair is an aesthetic language on par with the legacies of quilting and textile[…..]

Luis Cruz Azaceta: War and Other Disasters at Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts

Luis Cruz Azaceta. Hell Act, 2009; acrylic, charcoal, pencil, and shellac on canvas; 72 x 160 in. Courtesy of the artist and the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts.

Over the past four decades, Luis Cruz Azaceta has continued to mine the vast possibilities of expressionism—a style that often lends itself to forms of humanism, idealism, originality, and angst that feel more fitting for the 20th century than our current moment. Yet the artist is vigilant in his desire to respond to the world around him, and refuses to retreat into a formal world[…..]

Africa Forecast: Fashioning Contemporary Life at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art

Fabiola Jean-Louis. Amina, 2016; archival pigment print; 29 x 28.5 inches. Courtesy of the Artist and Alan Avery Art Company (Atlanta, GA).

Spelman College Museum of Fine Art’s current exhibition, Africa Forecast: Fashioning Contemporary Life, presents a small but dynamic assemblage of twenty designers and artists who blur the line between fine art and fashion from across the globe. Co-curated by Spelman Museum’s own Dr. Andrea Barnwell Brownlee and Dr. Erika Dalya Massaquoi to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the institution, this exhibition embodies the curatorial commitments[…..]

Paul Stephen Benjamin: God Bless America at Poem 88

Paul Stephen Benjamin. God Bless America, 2016; 3-channel video installation, sixty-five video monitors, DVDs, cables, and cords; installation shot. Courtesy of Poem 88, Atlanta, GA. Photo: Robin Bernat.

Paul Stephen Benjamin’s current video installation at Poem 88 in Atlanta, Georgia, God Bless America (2016), is a monument to the ambiguous relations between cultural achievement and state patriotism within the contemporary African American political experience.[1] Read against the traumatic history—and current iterations—of racial terror, state violence, and surveillance leveled systematically at Black Americans throughout our nation’s history, God Bless America’s synthesis of flickering and[…..]