Artist Stan Squirewell creates richly layered identities and fleshed-out people in his unbelievable blended media collages. Just after finding an graphic of his wonderful-fantastic-terrific grandfather through the Civil War, he was motivated to aim his artwork on imagery of Black people and men and women of coloration as a way to lose mild on the assorted narratives of African-American ancestry. His newest exhibition We Talk in Rivers, uplifts the unique figures from 1900s documentary pictures by a captivating mixed-media solution.
Fifteen of Squirewell’s big-scale will work are now on show at New York City’s Claire Oliver Gallery. He likens his inventive system to that of a DJ, layering distinct supplies to breathe lifestyle into the operate. By weaving jointly fabric, collage, and other adornments, he requires these anonymous figures out of the previous and permits the community to watch them with new eyes. And in accomplishing so, he asks us to rethink what we know about the past.
“It’s important for folks to query and take a look at their have one of a kind stories simply because, especially within just African American ancestry, our narratives are extremely various,” Squirewell tells My Contemporary Fulfilled. “Not all of us share the identical journeys—some didn’t get there on boats, and not all of our forebears were enslaved. For me, exploring my heritage challenged prevailing notions about Black family narratives. I purpose for viewers to not only enjoy the aesthetic magnificence captured in the pictures but also to cultivate a further being familiar with and acknowledgment of the past.”
The thought of household and community is a running concept by way of Squirewell’s perform. His range of historic imagery is a own choice guided by his personal upbringing and balanced with the wish to do the job with content that is visually stimulating. We Speak In Rivers is anchored with loved ones, as we see guys, females, and young children outfitted to impress for formal portraits. Squirewell’s vibrant additions to the scenes honors the care and delight that these historic figures very likely took in owning their illustrations or photos immortalized by the digital camera.
“I see my function as reaching back through history, developing a visual conversation with the oft-forgotten topics of so many aged images,” states Squirewell. “So a lot of what we know about background is informed through a one-dimensional lens—I goal to give my people depth, spirituality, and a new form of legacy—one that was typically denied them in their very own time.”
We Speak In Rivers is on see at Claire Oliver Gallery in New York Metropolis till January 13, 2024.
Stan Squirewell seems to the previous with his mixed media artwork designed working with historic photography.
By focusing on imagery of Black men and women and folks of color, Squirewell sheds new light-weight on their tales.
“So considerably of what we know about record is instructed as a result of a one-dimensional lens—I purpose to give my people depth, spirituality, and a new sort of legacy.”
Squirewell’s exhibition, We Discuss In Rivers, is on see at Harlem’s Claire Oliver Gallery till mid-January.