Karmimadeebora McMillan and Pablo Power
June 14th - July 6th
Whether growing up in the deep South or coming of age in the lush tropics of Miami, color has always played a vital role in the respective lives of McMillan and Power. It may evoke nostalgia, subvert discrimination, represent selfhood, deliver insights. For these visual artists, “Coloured Lines” serve as identifiers and are intrinsic to telling the narratives in their relative works.
Since her formative years, McMillan has either been chasing or surrounded by color. The mix-matched patterns of her grandmother’s quilting circles now echo in collages, drawings, and paintings. Ms. Merri Mack dolls painted on wood and the large scale imaginary landscape abstractions beckon with mischief and radiate with vibrancy. Yet these cheerful compositions belie a dose of reality steeped in dark origins. McMillan recalls that oppressed era when African Americans were prohibited from creative endeavors or engagement. She draws from historical references- notably the titular Ms.Merri Mack from the nursery rhyme, characters from the Black Panthers Coloring Book, and the afrofuturism of film Space Is The Place by Sun-Ra- and marries theme with hue to incite rebellion and declare escapism from shame or discrimination.
Color, too, has an indelible impact on Power who incorporates a variegated palette inspired by the diverse communities he has engaged with. Through journeying around the Caribbean, Power had a profound epiphany that these vivid assertions were more than just visually arresting- they established a simulacrum of homeland. It is couched in his storytelling, and has become a platform for which to reach new communities. He maintains this influence to date, in both artistic practice and life. Power’s use of visual cues further resonates with his Compass Studies, a focused series of graphic elements extracted from the multiple layers usually so prevalent in his work and representative of the manifold of crossroads at which one confronts division. These compositions are reminiscent of abstract text forms explored early in his career and, as do his choice of colors hearken, pay homage to those instrumental years.
About the Artists:
Karmimadeebora McMillan was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina and is based in Brooklyn, New York. She has a MFA (2013) and Post Baccalaureate certificate (2011) from The School of the Museum of Arts, Boston. She also holds BA in Visual Arts, (1999) from Fayetteville State University, an AFA (1997) from Peace College. McMillan’s paintings are influenced by her southern childhood through brightly colored fragmented quilted landscapes combined with characters from racist’s propaganda and black dolls she finds in southern flea markets. After graduate school Karmima worked for the well-known street artist Swoon for 5 years as her business manager and helped start her non-profit organization Heliotrope Foundation, where she served as a member of the board and eventually became the Director of the foundation. In addition to her practice as a painter, she has also performed with her mentor Magdalena Campos-Pons at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Queens Museum in New York, and Havana, Cuba Biennale 15. Karmimadeebora is currently part time faulty, at SMFA at Tufts, Boston and pursuing a painting career.
Pablo Power was born in a log cabin in rural Maryland, but spent his formative years in the seamy, creative crucible of Miami. His work continues to be inspired by the years he spent there, writing and painting public murals, to introduce something colorful, crafted, and considerate into locations that may otherwise be forgotten, overlooked, or avoided. As his process evolved, he pushed his creative interactions deeper into Miami’s urban wilderness, long before there was a single gallery and barely a few artists in Wynwood. That led him to photographing and documenting communities of people who inhabit those marginal areas, as an effort bridge division that fragments humanity. Eventually, he sought a more concise focus on the places and people who inspired those early revelations, through multimedia documentary. That work propelled him to New York City, to study at Parsons School of Design and School of Visual Arts. Currently, he continues to work in a combination of media, to build narratives that engage people to search for common ground.
About the Curator:
Andrew Lockhart is the Founder of prō jekt′ : nyc and Co-Founder of rogue + renegade, a creative shop and fine arts consultancy, respectively. Mr. Lockhart began his New York career working for Visionaire Publishing, followed by a time at lifestyle firm KBA Marketing, where he consulted for brands like RJ Reynolds and Coca-Cola. From there, as a partner and director of business development for Prophecy Magazine, he was instrumental in making it one of the most forward-thinking independent publications available.
Mr. Lockhart founded prō jekt′ : nyc in late 2005, after years of building global relationships across a number of industries. A New York-based, non-traditional consultancy that links brands and agencies with creatives from around the globe, prō jekt′ : nyc creates innovative and unique ways to create a dialogue with consumers. The shop has also consulted on various platforms, including public relations campaigns, sponsorship, and event production.
In October 2008, Mr. Lockhart joined Anonymous Gallery (N.Y./D.F.) as a partner and special projects director. During his time there, he concepted a number of the gallery’s special projects, brokered strategic partnerships and co-curated the gallery's public art program.
In the summer of 2014, Mr. Lockhart left the gallery to move into the private sector of the art world, starting rogue + renegade, a fine art consulting firm. With partner Anne Kim he advises private clients artists and brands, curates exhibitions, and works with a number of art fairs. His two latest projects, The Black Swan Projekt and 9ine: The Annual Journal will launch in the spring of 2020.