I've been having a lot of "love at first sight" moments with art lately. Such is the case when you're actively looking for beauty; you seem to find it everywhere.
On Saturday, the coldest night ever, I swung by the Richard Beavers Gallery to check out artist Bisa Butler's latest exhibition in Brooklyn, "The People Who Could Fly: Royalty Without Riches". Butler uses everyday materials denim, cotton, silk, vintage flour sacks, etc. to create intricate portraits of the people who surround her such as her father, a friend's daughter, or her grandmother, along with famous women who inspire her such as Lauryn Hill, Nina Simone, and Zora Neale Hurston.
In a quick speech on her opening night, Butler she spoke of the nobility she sees in the people she encounters daily, and how she reflects their sense of dignity in her work.
"The People Who Could Fly" is on display thru March 26, 2016. For more information: HERE
Butler's exhibition was full of lovely pieces, but this confident little girl, "The Princess", in pigtails, her bow used as a cocked crown, was the standout for me. The walls of my home are packed with art. I wish I had a place for her.
Check out the details. The contrasting prints moved me. Butler used Tk Tk T for this piece.
A few more favorites. Catch those crowns. Thinking of Butler's emphasis on nobility, I was reminded of one of my favorite Dr. Maya Angelou quotes: "Your crown has been bought and paid for. Put it on your head and wear it."
The name is Zimbabwean for "hope".
The name means "grace".
In case you're curious about the title, The Asantehene is the "absolute monarch of Ashanti and Ashantiland and the Empire of Ashanti of the Ashanti (or Asante) people's ethnic group" in Ghana. (I had to look it up.)
"Flowers for Faith"
Isn't she precious? I adore her little part and pigtails, and her expression. She's perfect!
I don't quite understand the title of this one. Did I mix it up with another work? I dunno. But these colors are everything.
"Primo". I loved the incorporation of African print here.
"Royal from Her Head to her Toes". I loved this one too.
My grandmother looks nothing like this, but the feeling of this work immediately evoked my memories of her. It's the clip on earrings and the way she clutches her Bible to her chest.
Butler captured Simone's somber expression perfectly.
"If I Ruled the World"
This was inspired by a very famous portrait of Lauryn Hill shot by Marc Baptiste. The original is one of my faves. Butler captured Hill's eyes perfectly.
The original photo by Marc Baptiste:
"If She Hollers Let Her Go"
I was drawn to the sensuality of this one.
"Wrapped in Rainbows"
My favorite author, Zora Neale Hurtson, and her famous hat. I love the use of patterns here.
The original photo:
An amazing use of (vintage) denim here: