There are just a few more weeks to catch The Barnes Foundation's Sun Splashed exhibition.
The artist, Nari Ward, assembles everyday objects to create artworks that explore cultural barriers and issues like black history, power, and politics.
Ward was born in St. Andrews, Jamaica in 1963 and has been working in Harlem for the past 25 years.
"Sun Splashed really refers to his experience as someone who feels divided between his identification with Jamaica and his childhood in the United States," says Thom Collins, Executive Director & President of The Barnes Foundation.
The exhibition has about 30 works of assemblage, sculptures and paintings that Ward created from 1993 to 2015, "He was really taken with the kinds of things that he would find on the street that had been abandoned or turned out for the trash," says Collins.
Ward transforms objects like shopping carts, baseball bats, and neon signage, "He uses found materials because they have meanings that come attached to them that we all understand," says Collins.
One of his signature pieces, Mango Tourist, is made using styrofoam and mango seeds. It's a commentary on his childhood, growing up in a tourist economy.
"You'll notice these figures sort of take the shape of snowmen," says Collins, "So the snowman you take out of its context and it melts; it disappears."
Other highlights include We The People, a work he made here in Philadelphia using shoelaces and a piece called Afro Chase made of cowrie shells and afro picks to speak to the African diaspora.
"This work is deliberately poetic and open ended," says Collins, "These aren't slogans, they're not activist projects ... you are meant to bring your own thoughts and feelings to this work."
Sun Splashed is on display at the Barnes Foundation thru August 22nd. For tickets and museum hours go to www.TheArtsinPhilly.org.
Barnes Foundation: Nari Ward's "Sun Splashed" - 6abc Loves the Arts
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