Opening Friday, August 11th, from 6PM - 9PM
On view through Friday, September 22nd
Is it possible to change a universal archetype, built on a history that has systematically adopted oppressive ideologies against non-western civilizations? Can individuals recreate their own understanding of various identities that are innately alien to them, rather than continuously feeding on what is already reinforced in the current hegemonic structure? It is easy to argue that yes, everyone has the freedom to reason and construct their own notions; yet, what is ultimately constructed can be jaded due to minimal diversity in accessible representations. These depictions are constantly disseminated through mass media, subtly masking and merging the fictional and the real. “This Image Is Not Available In Your Country” combats these initial judgments and reflects on the diversity lost in the deceptive mainstream representation of Africa, exploring a self-referential perspective of the Black Image.
Featuring Artist and Philanthropist Solomon Adufah
Curated by: Roe Melloe
Solomon Adufah was born and raised in West Africa, Ghana but currently, reside in the United States. His practice aims to create genuine and authentic portraits of faces that make up the beautiful continent of Africa. Adufah is interested in using his practice to reveal the hidden beauty woven into Africa’s social and geographical fabric. They expose viewers to a global perspective of the world, rather than a singular narrative meant to portray a viewpoint of the masses. His work reflects the diversity and richness lost in the deceptive mainstream representations of the African People and explores a self-referential perspective of the Black image. Adufah develops this group of portraits through a vital practice that requires a physical engagement with the community and the desire to travel.
His work allows dialogues between America and Africa to emerge, reaching beyond the cultural orthodox and reversing the traditions of Western globalization. A uniquely vital aspect of his practice is rooted in travel, emphasizing a necessary demand for cultural exchange. This constant physical engagement is mirrored in his portrait paintings. They not only tell stories of the everyday African narrative but also investigate into the social historical paradigm of globalization as a visual dialogue. He infuses authentic mixed media materials woven into the fabricated esthetics of the portrait. Adufah creates a layering technique of combining African motif through silk screen and fabric. These materials become an anchored pillar that transcends the work through the everyday African cultural narrative.
Roe Melloe is the Founder and CEO of Melloe Drama, Inc., a talent management firm that provides professional representation, consultation, and brokering services to artists and organizations. Hailing from the Southside of Chicago, Melloe has rooted himself deep within the arts and culture scene, curating and producing art exhibitions, fashion shows and music showcases that draw a diverse audience of all ages.
A multidisciplinary creative entrepreneur, he received a B.A. in Business Management from Chicago State University. His business acumen and skills in performing arts, allow him to merge both leadership and creativity into one world. He currently serves as the President of the South Side Community Art Center – NexGen Associate Board, Creative Director for the William Hill Gallery, and board member for The African LIFE with the goal to strengthen community and arts partnerships across Chicago. Melloe hopes to create a modern and artistically driven space for underprivileged youth and adults on the Southside of Chicago.
About Connect Gallery
Connect Gallery merges community and culture, creating a space that inspires social innovation through art, a space that provokes the notion that art shouldn’t be isolated for the ‘sophisticate’ but experienced by a myriad of viewers. From Kangols to tuxedos – art is for everyone.