MIAMI BEACH, FLA.-
Taking a cue from beat writer Jack Kerouac, Curator Larry Ossei-Mensah travels around the world exploring and observing how visual artists interpret issues of freedom and identity in a time of political and social unease. For "On the Road II," named a must-see show by The Miami Herald, Ossei-Mensah zeroes in on the voices of emerging artists that he has encountered in two cities - Miami and Detroit.
Both cities are active incubators for new ideas, new talent and creative exchange, pulsating to their own unique rhythms activated particularly through language, spirituality and ritual, said Ossei-Mensah, who is the Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at MOCAD in Detroit and a curatorial advisor at Oolite Arts
. Inspired by the power of storytelling, Ossei-Mensah seeks to highlight the artists selected for the exhibition and their dynamic practices from a fresh vantage point as a way to map the distinct perspectives percolating within these cities.
Opening Oct. 16, "On the Road II" will highlight eleven artists through Art Basel 2019 in the gallery of Miami Beach's Oolite Arts, formerly ArtCenter/South Florida.
Featured artists include Farley Aguilar, William Marcellus Armstrong, Amna Asghar, Tiff Massey, Gisela McDaniel, Osman Khan, Gean Moreno, Ernesto Oroza, Pat Phillips, Johanne Rahaman and Monica Sorelle.
"'On the Road II' is an organic response to the peripatetic nature of my curatorial practice and affords me an incredible platform to share the works by a number of truly exciting visual artists," Ossei-Mensah said. "Each artist brings a unique point of view that engages a variety of topics from new and contemporary interpretations of history to confronting day-to-day concerns the affect us all as human beings on this planet."
Included in the exhibit are:
● Osman Khan, who draws inspiration from the patterns Pakistani truck drivers use to decorate the sides of their long-haul vehicles, to create an installation entitled "Mughal Gothic (Trux Mayaimi Remix)," in Oolite Arts' windows facing Miami Beach's pedestrian mall Lincoln Road.
● Pat Phillips, whose painting "Urban Beach Week / Rump Shaker," 2019, shows a couple in handcuffs on the beach, referencing the heavy police presence during Miami Beach's Urban Beach Week, the dehumanization of black bodies and how the weekend exacerbates the region's race and class divisions;
● Tiff Massey, who looks at gingham, a material used to make uniforms for enslaved people in the south, and creates an installation by removing the white squares, as a way to imagine a world without colonization.
● Monica Sorelle, whose portraits of Little Haiti create visual poetic of a neighborhood in various stages of disappearing.