In about a week, I'll be going away to camp. But, when I return, I'm heading straight for the Big Apple-New York-to see Kehinde Wiley's paintings at the Studio Museum in Harlem(*see previous posts on Wiley and Studio Museum )and the photography of Laylah Amatullah Barrayn.
Ms. Barrayn is a photojournalist and her new exhibition is called Kindred Cool . It will be shown at the MoCADA-The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts. What a mouthful, huh? Kindred Cool is a series of portraits inspired by three friends who loved jazz-the artist Romare Bearden, the novelist Richard Wright and the essayist Albert Murray.
I know the work of Romare Bearden. I haven't read anything by Ralph Ellison. My mom said in the next couple of years I will definitely be reading his book Invisible Man. (Has anyone read it yet? And I have not read anything by Albery Murray. I put both writers on my Future Reading List. These are books I'll read sometime in the future.)
"I've known the works of these giants individually. However, I was introduced to the friendship between Bearden, Ellison and Murray through Horace Porter's book Jazz Country: Ralph Ellison in America," recalled Barrayn, who discovered the book as a student while at NYU in 2002. “I've always been moved by jazz, particularly as it relates to the Black experience in America. I wanted to make a contribution to the ever-continuing conversation on jazz."
"It was important for me to show the diversity of what I like to call the ‘jazz society - not only musicians who create the music, but those individuals who engage the music and perpetuate the culture through an array of ways: writing, visual art, dance. I also wanted to highlight people who are inspired by the music,” explained Barrayn.
Kindred Cool opens August 3rd and closes September 14th, at
The Foyer Gallery
80 Hanson Place
Brooklyn, New York 11217
(Around the corner from the
Brooklyn Academy Of Music)
Check it out if you can with your family and let me know how you experienced it.
*Look to the left for some of the work of Romare Bearden.