When You Can’t Go Home Again: Immigrants and Artists Reflect

    The review of this show reminds me that I have noticed a trend in elite and expensive contemporary art, especially as wealthy collectors are global, to seek out and regard new immigrant talents in MFA programs, especially African diaspora. Partly because at this point in time Africa is seen as where all the cultural excitement is. This seems to aggravate some Afro-American artists, who feel that they deserve this moment in the sun first. So there is a little tension between the two groups. (Yes, victim Olympics syndrome.) What they don't realize: many international collectors find American cultural issues as an old boring story, old American grievances old American topics that have nothing to do with them have grown tiresome especially as America is no longer seen as "#1," and much of its art is deemed "regional" and not global, and as always, they are looking for the "new". 

    This exhibition at ICA/Boston presents works by 20 contemporary artists that highlight current migration events. https://t.co/hziIaPRL0n

    — hyperallergic (@hyperallergic) January 12, 2020

    Many of the most successful Afro-American artists have an internationalist or global elite background, like Kehinde Wiley, for example: 

    Early life and education[edit]

    Wiley was born in Los Angeles, California. His father is Yoruba from Nigeria, and his mother is African American. Wiley has a twin brother.[9] When Wiley was a child, his mother supported his interest in art and enrolled him in after-school art classes. At the age of 11, he spent a short time at an art school in Russia.[10] He continued with other classes in the US.[11]

    The twins were raised by their mother; their father had returned to Nigeria. Wiley traveled to Nigeria at the age of 20 to meet his father and explore his family roots there.[12] Wiley earned his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1999 and his MFA from Yale University, School of Art in 2001.[1] Wiley became an artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem.[13] [....]

    Latest Comments