Sweet Funk

Where does the time go? In the past month I have completely uprooted my life; moved somewhere new, started a new job, and dare I jinx it, found a fella. The world doesn’t stop for you to get used to things, but luckily I adapt quickly.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t take time for contemplation. In fact, I might take too much time for it. When I feel like maybe I’m far too lost into my own head I like to visit a museum or a new place to snap out of it. Last week I went to the Brooklyn Museum. I’ve been before, years ago, with an idiot who insisted that he needed a little herbal refreshment before he could view any art. Well that went no where – fast – but I did enjoy the art that I saw that day (with a clear mind, thank you).

This time around, without any foolish company, I  took in the new Sanford Biggers exhibit: Sweet Funk – An Introspective. It is hard to believe that this is the artist’s first museum show in New York.

His commentary on racism and slavery is so eloquently expressed, I found especially with the works that also incorporated Buddhist elements, such as Lotus:

This commanding work is composed of outlines of humans packed into the bowels of a slave ship, repurposed as if petals of a flower, etched into glass and suspended. While somewhat delicate in technique, being etched glass, it’s weight and the idea of it hanging gave it an immense gravity.

The center piece of this show was Blossom (below), a player piano surrounding a fake tree. It’s not as haphazard as it sounds. The tune played is a remix of Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit.

Tucked away in a corner was another profound, though very different piece, Passage:

Here Biggers morphs the silhouette of a bust of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to project the silhouette of President Obama.

This exhibit runs until January 8, 2012.

If you’re wise enough to schlep it over to the Brooklyn Museum before Sweet Funk gets packed up, you’d do good to check out the Raw/Cooked series as well. Kristof Wickman is the featured artist until November 27th.

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