The Dirty Dozen: Jim Crow Fantasies
I had the pleasure of attending the opening reception for Okeeba Jubalo‘s art exhibit, The Dirty Dozen: Jim Crow Fantasies. If you’ve never heard of him (I hadn’t), I encourage you to peep his bio. He’s very interesting with a substantial career, humble with a quiet confidence whose weighty works speak volumes.
This piece (above) was the sunny spot of the exhibit. Or was it? I took it as being your own leader with your own thoughts- not outsourcing for acceptance, love or guidance. A god within, if you will. A unique, self-fueled standard of intelligence and beauty. It sounds kinda easy, but how many people can you tick off that refuse to face themselves(G-check) or dismiss constructive criticism? How many do you know that are stubborn and completely unwilling to consider differing ideas and opinions? Can you look in the mirror and only speak positively-not just “good” things about yourself, but the uncomfortable adjustments required to be better?
Okeeba Jubalo has taken it upon himself to create a visual voice for those made invisible in America’s social, economic and political infrastructure.(source)
His show was part of Transcendence, a Black History Month celebration of art, culture, togetherness and-the obvious-history.
When I walked into the gallery, I thought this hints of Basquiat-violent, graphic and almost primitive. Okeeba paints us as the caricatures found on brand-name products and their ads a few decades back. It may not be so blatant or as popular anymore, but it’s still being practiced today. Jim Crow Fantasies is an uncomfortable reminder that we’re still viewed as caricatures. Children in adult bodies. Fools. Even with the wealth of knowledge at our fingertips, we haven’t grown much from the era of Jim Crow, blackface, begging for “equality” and tap-dancing for white jesus.
I could really go into some of these pieces, but I’d like to leave it up to you, the viewers, to share your own interpretations. My little camera phone doesn’t do it justice, but I promise I tried.
As always, thanks for tuning in. And Okeeba, thank you for your necessary contributions to the art world.