UTA Artist Space opens a solo exhibition by artist Blitz Bazawule

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UTA Artist Space opens a solo exhibition by artist Blitz Bazawule
Installation view. Photo: Jeff McLane. Courtesy of UTA Artist Space.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA.- UTA Artist Space is presenting A Moment In Time, a deeply personal solo exhibition by the Grammy-nominated, visionary artist Blitz Bazawule (b. 1982, Accra, Ghana). The exhibition is the first major visual project since the artist co-directed Beyonce’s Black Is King in 2020, and follows the news of Bazawule’s role as director of Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple musical.

“The power of Blitz is his ability to shift the culture through art,” said Arthur Lewis, UTA Fine Arts and UTA Artist Space Creative Director. “Sometimes this shift is like a sonic boom, and other times, as with these brilliant new paintings, the change is a more subtle gesture that makes an indelible mark on the psyche.”

As an artist, Blitz’s multidisciplinary practice combines his experience as a director, producer, musician, author, and visual artist. His distinctive style pushes collage and mixed media into a new world, creating a bold, fresh visual language that is simultaneously original and iconic.

On view for the first time will be a series of eight new paintings accompanied by an immersive multimedia video installation inspired by the concept of time as a cyclical continuum. A Moment In Time posits that moments from our personal histories can be reanimated as new memories for the present.

The genesis of the series was inspired by the artist's’ memories of the faded black-and-white photos that lined the walls of his childhood home in Ghana— images of his family elegantly dressed in their Sunday best that stirred a deep sense of nostalgia, which then grew to strong desire to bring those moments back to life. Later, while on tour in Morocco, the artist stumbled upon a vintage photograph of a woman standing in the very same place as he was at that moment, but 50 years before.

“I held up the photograph and spun around until it lined up with the same mosque nearby and a light bulb went off right there. I realized that the juxtaposition of the old photograph and the new background had birthed something new. Something more timeless. I imagined vintage photographs held against a modern vibrant background. This created a time loop, connecting the past with the present. It is the viewer experiencing the painting today, transported to yesterday with a clearer view of tomorrow,” said artist Blitz Bazawule.

Shortly after this epiphany, Bazawule began creating a series of paintings that explored the juxtaposition of past and present, which became A Moment In Time. The exhibition will encompass all three of UTA Artist Space’s galleries.

Blitz Bazawule (b. 1982, Accra, Ghana) is a Grammy-nominated, internationally renowned artist and director at the top of the fields of film, music, and contemporary art. Blitz's feature directorial debut The Burial Of Kojo premiered on Netflix in 2019 as part of Ava DuVernay's ARRAY Now. He co-directed Beyoncé's Black Is King (2020) and is set to direct Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple Musical (2023). Blitz is a Senior TED Fellow, Guggenheim Fellow, and was included in the 2019 Whitney Biennial. As a musician, Blitz has released five studio albums and has toured in over 20 countries. Most recently, Bazawule’s debut novel, The Scent Of Burnt Flowers, was acquired by Ballantine/Penguin Random House for release in 2022. Bazawule will write, direct, and produce a limited series based on the book under his newly established entity, Inward Gaze. Blitz is represented by CAA, M88, and Andre Des Rochers and Anita Surendran at Granderson Des Rochers.

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