About the Exhibition:
Alvin Armstrong’s (b. 1982, San Diego, CA) dynamic artworks imply action through their kinetic mark making and expert use of color. Concerned primarily with complications of race in modern America, the artist explores the social and political landscapes of Black culture in a decidedly figurative context. Armstrong carefully frames subjects in motion to subvert traditional narratives and power structures that have erased, misrepresented, and undervalued Black identities throughout American history.
Laissez-Faire memorializes the lives of men, women, and children murdered as a consequence of police brutality. Upholding the legacies of individuals like Michael Brown, Elijah McClain, and Aiyana Jones, Armstrong honors each subject’s likeness in a style that references the illustrious history of the Japanese Samurai.
Armstrong’s portraits are careful meditations that relate the conceptual return of these individuals to the Samurai’s philosophical beliefs surrounding reincarnation, respect, and compassion. He places these traditions in conversation with tragic instances of racially motivated violence, grappling with the vulnerability of minority communities in the face of social and political inequities. The series is a call to action that challenges viewers to honor their own commitment to a freer and more equitable world.
The exhibition is on view at Anthony Gallery at 1360 W. Lake Street in West Loop from December 1st, 2023, to January 6th, 2024.