Dorsey, Najee, (Poor People's Campaign Portfolio)
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"Poor People's Campaign" Portfolio by Najee Dorsey
all 40 inches (W) photomontage & digital pigment print on premium Hahnemuhle archival paper, limited edition of 10 --unframed
(L TO R images across)
1. Ice Cream Melting
2. Stars and Stripes
3. City Park
4. Southern Futurist
5. Those Empower...Say, Oh Poor Dog
6. Playground For the Poor
8. Tent City
9. The Gospel Spoke of A Redeemer
10. Conjure Making That Long Arduous Access to Something Universal
Black Visual Culture, Environmental injustice and Representation of American South in Afrofuturism
Poor People's Campaign: Where does inspiration come from? Well inspiration came recently after being invited to a salon talk with the Founder of the Southerly thanks to Alan Rothschild of the Do Good Fund. The Southerly is an independent non-profit media organization that covers the intersection of ecology, justice, and culture in the American South. The invitation lead me down a rabbit hole of research prior to the talk, binging on information from environmental justice, climate change and social justice via Dr. Robert Bullard and Van Jones to Afrofuturism and Octavia Butler. Yes, as a lifetime Southerner, with Southern Visual Culture and Folklore being a focal point of my works I wanted to see if Afrofuturism takes into account poor and marginalized communities in the South. I now join in the conversation visually. I'm 10 plus pieces into this series and will continue to expand this body of work. Stay tuned, more to come ...
“In the work I do, I present an American experience through the lens of my African-American perspective,” says Najee Dorsey. In the exhibition Leaving Mississippi – Reflections on Heroes and Folklore, Dorsey’s Mississippi Delta roots emerge as he pays homage to a cast of colorful characters, historic events, and conditions of Southern life while creating commentary about current economic and social conditions in America. The mixed-media works in the exhibition showcase a number of the heroes of the civil rights movements, participants of civil disobedience in the early 20th century, and folklore legends including Dangerfield Newby, Bass Reeves, and Robert Charles. The work combines themes that have interested Dorsey for the past few years: journeys that people embark upon as they search for a better life, and the resistance of those who stay where they are to fight the powers that be. The artist uses a variety of materials, including photographic imagery, ripped paper, paint and found objects. Each composition blends multiple textures, colors, and layers to make the stories tangible for viewers..
Born and raised in the Delta and now a resident of the Columbus area, Dorsey has shown his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions. His work can be found in the collections of:
2016 David W. Mullins Library at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
2016 Collection of Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts: PAFA, Philadelphia, PA
2016 Paul R. Jones Collection, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
2016 David C. Driskell Collection, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
2015 Community Folk Art Center, Syracuse University, NY
2015 Columbus Museum, Columbus, GA
2014 Clark University Museum, Atlanta, GA
2012 African American Museum of Dallas, TX
2012 Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy, Sarasota, FL
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