Of Such Is The Kingdom
November 18th - December 18th, 2021
916 Bedford Ave, Bed-Stuy NY
At the end of the day I want for us to not consider oursleves disposable statistics but to understand that greatness lies within each of us. - Sophia Dawson
Artist, Activist, and Professor Sophia Dawson is showcasing her newest body of work, an ongoing series, entitled “Of Such Is The Kingdom”. On display will be over a dozen mixed media works on canvas and wood, with an array of portraits spanning from political prisoners to musicians. A master of using unconventional materials and striking imagery in telling stories of the black diaspora, Dawson explores narratives of hope, determination, joy, pride, and purpose, with the blind optimism you’d see in the eyes of a child.
Dawson’s unique style of painting and the use of vibrant colors create a brilliant luminosity that is distinctive in her works. The use of diverse hues and textures are on full display as they have become signatures in the acclaimed artist’s arsenal. Her signatured color “Brownsville Blue”, is reminiscent of the softer side to otherwise rough neighborhoods such as her own in central Brooklyn. Gold leaf and mustard seeds materials (which represent the “Holy Spirit” and “Faith”, respectively) and diamond dust which mimics the luster of curly hair, can all be found throughout this body of work. These delicate pigments are used in much of Sopia’s creations including “Janine Africa” and “Proverbs 22:6” (a portrait of young Kanye West). Also used in some of these works are broken chain-links, which are used to symbolize deliverance from bondage both figuratively and literally, as many of the works feature currently or formerly incarcerated political prisoners.
Referencing the “Biblical” verse Matthew 19:14 “Of Such Is The Kingdom” captures people as their younger selves, allowing them to be viewed through a lens befitting a child, one of compassion and understanding. The exhibition beautifully restores the dignity and glory that is often omitted in mainstream portraiture when depicting people of color. The synergy of techniques and materials that are used in this body of work, is a visual allegory which examines deeper narratives within each portrait. Beyond visual storytelling, Dawson uses her work to inspire people to be more understanding while challenging the preconceived notions we have about each other.
916 Bedford ave, Brooklyn
916 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205
917 966 9467
Hours: By appointment