On an eery afternoon at the end of 2014, I found myself at an abandoned public housing complex in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans. It rained lightly during the earlier part of the morning, and the clouds still hovered over the area. Despite it being December, it was still about 70 degrees and humid outside. I mean, this was New Orleans. What else would one expect?
I had just left a Basquiat exhibit at the Ogden Museum, but a more captivating piece of art was about to reveal itself. The ground still wet, I walked over to parking lot of the blighted property. Standing there surrounded by buildings that once held so much livelihood, I looked up and down, then turned slowly in a circle. This was my introduction to Brandan Odoms and Exhibit Be.
This was Exhibit Be, a graffiti art space that displayed some of the country’s bravest civil rights advocates. The property was supposed to be torn down right after the showcase ended, and redeveloped into a multi-recreational facility and/or a hotel space. To the surprise of no one, it still sits untouched today. Prior to this was Project Be, a similar installment that occurred in a housing project in the Bywater neighborhood. The final installment of this trilogy is Studio Be, which was recently unveiled at a warehouse in Bywater.
I was at the same warehouse a few months prior for Art4Rights, where Albert Woodfox was featured in artwork by Odoms. Just a week ago, Woodfox was finally released from prison after serving 43 years in solitary confinement. For the record, 2016 has turned out to be the best Black History Month ever! ✊🏿
Take a step inside Studio Be next, which features Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Muhammad Ali, Eldridge Cleaver, and more…
This show is inspired by time. Through my appreciation of time through the rich moments that decorate our history and my fear of the idea that each moment has its expiration date. The ancient Greeks described time with two words: chronos, which is the passage of time measured by quantity, and kairos,. the opportune moment that’s measured in quality. Kairos is forever. Here you will experience my dance with kairos while facing chronos. The ephemeral to inspire the eternal. My attraction to the spray can came from my attraction to the ephemeral. My views on love are bound by my attraction to the ephemeral. This project is ephemeral. Be ephemeral. Be eternal.