October 7, 2022 - November 12, 2022
Opening Reception: First Friday, October 7, 6-9pm
Listen to the artist speak about their artwork: (Coming soon!)
This exhibition is the result of the artist’s extended meditation on the film "Emperor Jones" (1933). Through these new multi-media works, Spriggs examines Brutus Jones, the main character played by Paul Robeson; and his struggles, his rise, and his final downfall. The work is also infused with the artist’s reflections on both the groundbreaking aspects of the film, and its use of dated and problematic tropes. Though not widely-known, the film has an interesting and challenging place in our cultural and cinematic history, especially its standing in the era of ‘race films’. Read more about the film "Emperor Jones" here.
This body of work started after binge watching movies during the pandemic. I came across the movie "Emperor Jones" starring Robeson. The movie thumbnail looked familiar and brought me back to my childhood. Growing up my father kept a framed photo of Robeson in our basement (his study) dressed in costume from this movie! I became completely enthralled by what I had watched and needed to process what I saw. - A.S.
About the Artist
Abiose Spriggs (b. 1990 Atlanta, GA) is a visual artist living and working in Rochester. His work reflects the trend of utilizing Western art history to inform his practice that focuses on the Black Diaspora. He finds source material from the multitude of black imagery found in photography/ graphic art/ and motion pictures. Spriggs' own personal/family history, musical interest, pop culture and the country's ever changing social climate can be seen in the artist's practice. Abiose has an MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology. IG: forevershopping_alwaysdad