Sunday, January 31, 2010

It Was A Great Art Show



First of all, I want to thank everyone that came out to the show! I really appreciate your support. I had a blast, and it was wonderful to meet so many people.



I create for myself, but I'm not satisfied leaving my work stashed under the bed. Putting the work out there in the world helps complete my process.



It was interesting to hear viewers' thoughts on my work. One question that came up alot, to my surprise, was whether my work was photographs. I explained that all my work at the show was oil and acrylic painted on canvas. I also noted that I use photographs for reference in order to make the figures in my paintings proportional.

It was great to see several notable artists at the show as well. Lauren Kelley, came out to support as well as Leroy Henderson and Carrie Mae Weems.

I was overwhelmed by the turnout at the art opening. The show included nine of my paintings as well as metal sculptural works by Jordan!™ and paintings by Justin West. In case you didn't make it to the opening, the show runs until March 6th.

RFA Gallery

2075 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, New York, NY (7th Ave @ 124th around the corner from the Studio Museum)
Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 11:00am - 7:00pm

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Friday is the Night!



New Yorkers, I hope to see you at my art show tomorrow! Feel free to pass this info along.

"Urban Pulse" Opening Reception - Friday, January 29, 2010 6:00pm - 9:00pm

RFA Gallery
2075 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, New York, NY (7th Ave @ 124th around the corner from the Studio Museum)

Show runs through March 6, 2010

More info:
www.therfagallery.com

The above painting is "Flatiron" oil and acrylic on canvas 24x24 inches.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Liberator Magazine "On Beauty: Dawn Okoro"

"LM: I noticed that many of the women in your paintings tend to be dark-skinned and have amazing, perfectly coiffed afros. Is this a conscious decision to address our notions of "traditional" beauty and take on the perennial debates about complexion and hair texture? Also, I was wondering how you felt about Andrea Pippins' recently launched I Love My Hair project. It seems like you two are on the same wavelength visually and conceptually. (www.ilovemyhair.com)

DO: One of the reasons that I have painted the afros is simply because I find them aesthetically pleasing. In some of my paintings, I have taken an image that I saw in a mainstream fashion magazine reformed it. As I continue to create work like this, I do hope to incite conversation about this unconventional beauty that is missing from most of these magazines. My practice does overlap with Andrea's because we’re both putting a spotlight on beauty that hasn't gotten much shine in mainstream culture."
See Full Excerpt Here: http://weblog.liberatormagazine.com/2010/01/on-beauty-dawn-okoro-visual-art.html
(Interview by Danielle Scruggs)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A New Outlook


One of the most common comments I get about my artwork is that is that it represents a positive image of the black woman. For the most part, I paint whatever I am compelled to paint at that particular point. Looking back, I think that I may have been compelled to fight against certain negative stereotypes.

However, it is very important to me that my work spark a dialogue. I feel that this might be achieved more so in some of my recent work. At face value, these paintings may not necessarily represent a positive image of black women, but I hope that they inspire a conversation about why people adopt certain attributes.

The above painting is related to this blog post I did a few months ago. It is called "Instamatic," it will be exhibited along with other new work at RFA Gallery from January 29 thru March 6, 2010.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"Urban Pulse" Art Show



"Urban Pulse" is an exploration into identity, class and culture set against the ever evolving back drop of New York City, featuring the paintings and sculptural works of Dawn Okoro, Jordan!™ and Justin West.

Opening Reception - Friday, January 29, 2010 6:00pm - 9:00pm

RFA Gallery
2075 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, New York, NY (7th Ave @ 124th around the corner from the Studio Museum)

Show runs through March 6, 2010

http://www.therfagallery.com
http://www.dawnokoro.com

Final Stretch



I am finishing up some of the work that I will be showing this month at RFA gallery. It feels good to be in the final stretch.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

"Wigs"



I enjoy listening to art lectures on my ipod while I paint. The other day, I was listening to a Lorna Simpson lecture. Lorna is best known for her photography and text work, view her website here.

In the lecture she explained her art piece titled "Wigs." She explains that in the neighborhood where her studio was at the time, there was a wig shop on almost every block. One day, she decided to go to different shops to purchase several wigs. She then mounted the wigs up and photographed them individually. She created "a series of lithographs on felt, composed rather like portraiture. . . her work is a commentary on race, with hair serving as a racial marker of differance, subject to celebration and derision" [per NYU litmed database].

I am very taken aback by the series, simple, elegant and impactful. It also hadn't occurred to me that photos could be printed on felt.

Lorna also has an AMAZING studio here in Brooklyn. It was the first American project by the London-based architect David Adjaye: