PUBLIC ART FUND TALKS: AWOL ERIZKU
Date: MONDAY, MAY 10, 2021, 5 - 6PM
2010 School of Art alumnus Awol Erizku’s distinctive visual language emerges from thoughtful, contemplative underpinnings into layered, colorful, and striking photographs. Growing up in the Bronx and influenced by its diverse communities, Erizku’s approach to photography is informed by both contemporary life in the United States and global culture.
Erizku’s free virtual conversation with Public Art Fund Curator Daniel S. Palmer on May 10th accompanies New Visions for Iris, the artist’s most ambitious exhibition to date. For his first solo public show, Erizku created a new body of 13 photographs which are on view on 350 JCDecaux bus shelters across New York City’s five boroughs and throughout Chicago through June 20. New Visions for Iris marks Public Art Fund’s first simultaneous presentation in New York and Chicago. Together, Erizku and Palmer will discuss his practice, the process of creating this exhibition, and its response.
Erizku created this new group of pictures during the past tumultuous year. The difficulties of the pandemic and attendant social unrest were countered by the blessings of the birth of Erizku’s daughter Iris, as well as a period of spiritual and artistic growth. In New Visions for Iris, he reflects on the moment with a deeply personal interpretation of how art can act as a site to process challenging times and spark conversation. The artist sees these images as starting points for future dialogue with his daughter about complicated issues. They are also intended as prompts for all audiences to find connection, community, and beauty in the scenes they depict. Each “new vision” is a proposition that invites us to reimagine inherited traditions as our own sources for liberation and inspiration. Through that process, they can help us see and create the world anew.