Exhibition Dates: April 23 – July 17, 2022
Exhibition Reception: Friday, May 13, 2022 7 – 10pm
LE DRIP: The Uncontainable Sauce of Black Essence is a solo exhibition by Washington-based artist Blu Murphy, Target Gallery’s 2022 solo exhibition recipient. The LE DRIP series is a group of mixed media portraits created as a tribute to the black community and celebrates the essence, beauty, and magic of this resilient and often undervalued group of people.
The subject matters included in this series are elementary and middle school students who attend a title one school in southeast D. C., where the artist also teaches arts education. Through collage, the artist carefully and strategically combined the statement “I Am Art” with graffiti and images that represent black narratives. The portraits in this series offer the viewer an opportunity to challenge their perspectives and see a subset of individuals who are often unseen or overlooked as valuable masterpieces.
The white industrial walls of Target Gallery are used as a backdrop to represent urban communities. Steeped in symbolism, upon entering the gallery, viewers will observe shoes hanging from a wire anchored in the ceiling. In urban communities, this symbolizes remembrance; we are honoring and remember community members who are no longer with us.
The series includes more than ten (10) works of art encased in vibrant colored up-cycled frames. Dripping paint “le drip” travels from the portrait to the frame and then onto the gallery wall representing the uncontainable and undeniable sauce of the black essence. The ingredients of “the sauce” are rich and include: our combined pain, triumphs, joys, strength, and swag.
This exhibition was created to challenge the viewer to think about the following questions:
- What do you qualify as art?
- What do you view as valuable?
These questions are explored further in a simple, black, and white video created by the artist that features people from her community either boldly making the statement “I Am Art” or expressing why they consider themselves art. She hopes that each viewer will leave with a heightened sense of self-love and a different perspective on what they qualify as art.
About the Artist
Brandy “Blu” Murphy (she/her), is a Washington, D. C. based artist is known for capturing the strength of her subjects through photography and utilizing graffiti, texture, and color to tell the story of disenfranchised African-Americans who are often unheard and unseen and showcasing them as works of art.
About the Jurors
Maps Glover is an artist and innovator, from his installation and performances at some of the nation’s premiere stages including the Kennedy Center. Maps’ illustrations have also graced the covers of magazines like The Fray, Hello Mr, and Condé Nast Traveler. His approach to art is unique meditative his practice invites the viewer to reimagine the world around them.
Heather Hakimzadeh is the Curator at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Since her tenure at Virginia MOCA, she has organized over 50 exhibitions ranging from local to internationally recognized artists. Hakimzadeh’s recent exhibitions include She Says: Women, Words, and Power, Inka Essenhigh: A Fine Line, and Wayne White: Monitorium. She wrote essays for both Inka Essenhigh’s monograph and the catalogue that accompanied the seminal group exhibition, Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose. She earned a B.S. from Carnegie Mellon University, a B.A. in Art History from Old Dominion University, and an M.A. in Art History from the George Washington University.
Thomas James is a visual arts curator and arts facilitator based in Maryland. An appreciator and collector of fine arts, he highlights working artists and facilitates spaces for creatives to refine and develop their craft. Beginning his career in the arts while in college at Frostburg State University, his first exhibition was at Mountain City Center for the Arts, where he was interning. Shortly after graduation, Thomas took an opportunity to independently curate an exhibition on display at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis, and it was eventually travelled to George Washington University’s ArtReach Gallery in Washington, DC. Shortly after, Thomas went on to conduct a fellowship at The Maryland Federation of Art before joining the Baltimore anchor institution, Creative Alliance, in 2018 through 2021. He now leads the exhibition programming at Eubie Blake Cultural Center in Baltimore. Thomas has curated exhibitions on display at The Phillips Collection, Anne Arundel Community College, Gallery Al-Quds, and Syra Arts. In addition to curating, Thomas has served as a writer, designer, consultant, lecturer, and more for organizations and companies such as Vans, Kaiser Permante, B&O Railroad Museum, Munger, Tolles, & Olsen LLP, Urban Walls Brazil, Reginald F. Lewis Museum, and more. To learn more visit thomasjamesdc.com.