The Front (exhibit window space) at Eleven Twenty Projects is preparing for a new art installation by Chicago and NYC based artist Brendan Fernandes. Fernandes, who originally hails from Kenya (then onto Canada, then Chicago/NYC), explores the significance of African mask trading, from the hands of the artists, to the Canal Street (NYC) gallerists who deal the works of art. This neon mask series will be displayed on Main Street, for passersby to see, to (hopefully) convey a message via the pulsating, eerily glowing masks.
From Hiz Hands assembles a series of works that create a shared history of identity, origin and displacement.
What do the traditional masks represent, as they are showcased in upscale settings, far away from the places where they were made? And what are the masks conveying to the viewer? Are they representing Africa as an exotic place, due to the fine mystery and otherworldly craftsmanship? What does the gallerist actually know about the mask, other than it’s beautiful and will appeal to buyers? Who was the mask made for? The tourist, the gallerist? Or was it the artisan’s own creative desire to bring the creation to life?
What do they masks represent? Who made them, and when? Who made the money? How did they end up in these NYC galleries? Who is the end buyer? Fernandes offers these questions through his neon artwork.
Brendan Fernandes: From Hiz Hands
On view April 22, 2017 – July 30, 2017
This off-site project is in conjunction with UB Anderson Gallery’s group exhibition The Language of Objects.
Images: Installation View, From Hiz Hands, 2010, neon