The fight against racism requires listening, understanding, and taking action. What better way to achieve this than by exhibiting? Inspired by this idea, and aiming to effect a radical change, Christie’s has launched an online selling exhibition dedicated to 22 emerging and established black artists from Africa and the world, in collaboration with talented curator Destinee Ross-Sutton and The Harlem Arts Alliance.
On display until August 18, 2020, the online exhibition is inspired by James Brown’s 1968 motto “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud”.
The selected works stand out for focusing on portraits. As the curator herself explains concerning the reasons behind this choice, after the Black Lives Matter protests, she found it essential to clearly show faces, eyes and bodies, to refocus on the black community’s identity through the artists’ perspectives.
The exhibited works call at viewers’ perceptions and prejudices, and challenge them to redefine these based on what they see – from Yoyo Lander and Barry Yusufu’s emotional art to Nelson Makamo’s unconventional faces, from Josh Paige’s black men bearing targets on their bodies to Collins Obijaku’s elegant portraits.
Blending different styles and subjects is a peculiar trait of all exhibits curated by Destinee Ross-Sutton, who distinguished herself in successful international collective exhibits at prestigious institutions like the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) and the CFHILL in Stockholm, where she curated BLACK VOICES/ BLACK MICROCOSM in the same year. Young Ross-Sutton is also a manager supporting and promoting artists from the black community.
Christie’s CSR Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives has planned a series of side talks to the exhibit. Curated by the Harlem Arts Alliance (a non-profit association fostering the growth of artists and cultural institutions) and Destinee Ross-Sutton, they aim to make the artists’ voices heard while serving as a platform for global art leaders to discuss the undeniable inequalities that black artists and art professionals have been witnessing.