I have recently been to visit the Studio Museum in Harlem, located at 144 West 125th Street between Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard and Lenox Avenue in Manhattan, New York. The museum showcases artwork by African Americans and people of African heritage.
A piece of work that really stood out to me was Stanza by Jibade-Khalil Huffman created in 2016. Huffman was born in 1981 in Detroit. He now explores timing within different types of artwork, from video to photography and also objects. Stanza is a video. It’s also includes objects such as windshields, license plates, and air freshener. The video was about seven minutes long. There were five windshields that were cracked, shattered, and layered. Some were hanging from the ceiling, some were leaning against the walls, and others were lying on the floor. Video and photography wasn’t allowed in this part of the museum, but it was allowed in the rest of the museum.
Another piece that I was fond of was Portrait of a Girl with Flowers and a Diploma by James VanDerZee created in 1932. VanDerZee was born in 1886 and died in 1983. He created a photograph using gelatin silver print, which is paper containing gelatin and silver salt. This piece contains an image of a girl with a headpiece holding flowers and a diploma.
I believe that these work focuses on imperfections and things that need to be fixed in society. The fact that we celebrate being able to go to college and living up to the time we go to college isn’t right. Those things shouldn’t be something we have to worry about. When I see a shattered windshield the first thing that comes to my mind shouldn’t be gun violence, hit-and-runs, and car accidents. I think this exhibit was made to bring awareness to the imperfections of the world right now. It also shows the difference between how people should view each other and how they do view each other.
Overall, I recommend going to check out the exhibitions before they’re gone. It was worth the time for me. It made me think a lot about the neighborhood and how everything is portrayed. If this kind of artwork is something you are into I hope you’ll think about going to see the amazing pieces for yourself.