Museum, Museum, oh Museum…
Manhattan is home to some of the most coveted art museums in the world: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney, The Guggenheim and more. These sites in specific hold the top tier of museums to be visited by any local or tourist. And though falling at the seams with art both classical and modern, traditional and challenging, other boroughs have been neglected.
In particular, the richly diverse Bronx has been placed in the shadow of other New York City boroughs. However, there is much to be offered when it comes to contemporary art. Plan your next visit to the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Located at 1040 Grand Concourse, admission is free for all ages.
Shaun Leonardo’s The Breath of Empty Space
There are several exhibitions on display in person at the Museum as of this month. Shaun Leonardo, a young Brooklyn based artist born in Queens, is exhibiting his current body of work. The show, titled The Breath of Empty Space, confronts our generation’s harrowing experience with police brutality against men.
Composed of several drawings and paintings made from 2014 to 2019, the exhibition aims to unpack the ways “mediated images of systemic violence against Black and Brown young men in contemporary American history have shaped our fear, empathy, and perception.”
The charcoal drawings are depicting real life instances of police violence against black men, like Rodney King and Freddy Pereira. Techniques, like blurring, shadowing, highlighting and mirrored tinting, serve to reshape the way viewers approach these images of aggression.
Jasmine Wahi: New Curator
The exhibit was in part organized by Jasmine Wahi, the Museum’s most recently appointed Social Justice Curator. Wahi, previously co-founder of non- profit Project for Empty Space, has similarly made a splash in the art world. She’s organized exhibits, like the renowned “Abortion is Normal,” in New York.
Wahi, in combination with Leonardo, can help us reimagine empathy towards the harm needlessly inflicted on Brown and Black people today. The Museum, artist and curator have created this exhibition as a space to mourn the impact of lives lost. We cannot ever forget the narratives now silenced, and the justice never served.