Text by Darnell L. Moore and Jasmine Wahi
This book presents the solo exhibition by New York-based artist Rashaad Newsome, entitled Stop Playing in My Face! and also marks the artist’s debut at De Buck Gallery. Recognized for his collages and videos, Newsome offers commentary through the lenses of black and queer subcultures. The artist uses his work to create a means of exploration of identity in many permutations. His newest work in Stop Playing in My Face! takes this idea further as his collages evolve from abstracted Baroque-esque designs that use symbols of these subcultures to more personified figurative subjects. By moving toward portraiture, Newsome delves into the ideas of agency, specifically in relation to interpretations of feminism by transgender and cisgender women of color. By giving faces to his collages, Newsome imbues them with this idea of agency as the figures that emerge challenge viewers to confront these issues head-on. Newsome sought inspiration by female Dadist Hannah Hoch, though he also uses his frames as extensions of the artworks themselves. Stop Playing in My Face!, named after the nine minute video title work in the show reiterates the themes present among his collages as well as serve his audience the nucleus of show transforming all of his conceptual themes into animated embodiments of Newsome’s collage figures set to an original score created with producer and DJ Maker Chinx. Rashaad Newsome’s contemporary works has been exhibited across the world including the Whitney Museum in New York, the Brooklyn Museum, the Centre Georges Pompidou, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Darnell L. Moore is an activist and writer whose work involves themes along anti-racism, feminism, queer of color, and anticolonial though and advocacy. He works currently as the Editor-at- large at CASSIUS and a co-managing Editor at the Feminist Writer.
Jasmine Wahi is a co-director and co-owner of Gateway Project Spaces and a founder and director of Project for Empty Space. She specializes in Southeast Asian art before entering the Contemporary art scene and in 2008 has opened her own consultancy which she has curated numerous exhibitions for emerging global artists.