Double Consciousness: A History of Unhealed Wounds!

We went to the opening of Double Consciousness: A History of Unhealed Wounds! at Zucot. The show was thrilling and featured the latest work from Charlotte Riley-Webb, Alfred Conteh, and Aaron Henderson.  Black History Month is here and the gallery’s latest exhibit focused on the past and present. I would have loved to see visions of the future, but maybe at some other point in the future (hehe).

Charlotte Riley-Webb’s pieces evoked strong emotions of pain, anger, and sadness. Spanning time from post slavery through the Jim Crow era, the viewer is asked to peer into both abstract and symbolism to wrestle with the savagery of attacking dogs and the ghoul like horror of clansman.  The viewer is also asked to embrace solidarity and family in the resilience of gathering women.  I enjoyed the perspective and interpretative art.

Aaron Henderson’s pieces, black social realism (my category), focused on his negro spiritual series highlighting a theme from each song. Each piece is somber, powerful, and introspective. I felt as though the song was floating about the art, haunting me as a ghost would. I am an absolute fan of the gouache technique that he makes look effortless with every stroke. Truly these are collector pieces.

Alfred Conteh’s work continue to dominate the room. Each piece screams and shouts of the injustices that the black community endures due to intra/extra culture conflicts that continue to suffer from will-less solutions.  Each piece is a conversation of subtle and overt self-inflicted nonsense that entraps most of the black community. His work draws the viewer to the darker aspects of self-hate and selfishness that permeate our daily lives and screams, “Aren’t you tired yet!” Indeed I am, but I never get tired of seeing the brilliance of Conteh’s art and the social prodding that brings out the Public Enemy in my soul.