'Soul Culture': An Experience Centering On Joy and Reflection by Artist Renee Cox
At the Hannah Traore Gallery in New York City, NY, audiences will be able to experience a collection from artist Renee Cox, who uses wedding analog and digital photographic technologies within her exhibition, Soul Culture. Within these works will be a culmination of photography and collage through three-dimensional sculptural works. The exhibit opens on April 14, 2022.
Cox transitioned from fashion to art in the 1990s. During her time in fashion and graphic design, Cox worked with Spike Lee, the Jungle Brothers, and Gang Starr, to name a few. At that time, her photography displayed the progression from the Pictures Generations, which depicts the disillusionment of the post-1960s and 1970s. Moreover, later in the ’90s, Cox experimented with collage in her works, such as It Shall Be Named (1994) and Raje (1998), which solidified her position within Afrofuturism discourse. For Raje, Cox drew from iconic Black women figures such as Pam Grier and Betty Davis to create the ultimate Black female superhero. When describing Raje and her other pieces at the time, Cox said in a press statement, “For me, the icon comes from within; it’s very organic. It’s a reaction. I refuse to be put down, squashed, or made invisible.”
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Cox uses the human body to create fractal-like canvases in her latest exhibit, Soul Culture. Inspired by Paul Gilroy, “fractal” emphasizes a chaotic and fragmented Black Atlantic while functioning with fluidity and infinite possibility. These pieces create a layered texture and illusionary vignettes, creating another universe and metaverse where Black people control their representation.
When asked about her art and the inclusion of technology, Cox says, “When you’ve been working for thirty years, it’s imperative to stay current! I want my work to rule the world and have that world created by me.” One of her pieces within the exhibition, The Self Similarity of the Selfie, is uniquely captivating through the intensity of the focal point’s gaze in their expression, along with the reconstruction of the human anatomy, which creates a flow and story within the piece. Playing around with the dimensions and proportions of the human body, Cox creates artwork that makes it difficult for the viewer to take their eyes off. The more you examine the work, the more you explore and find.
The exhibit will be on display until May 28, 2022. Click here to learn more about Soul Culture.