Culture

Artist Najee Dorsey’s ‘Resistance’ Showcases Black Heroes and Heroines

Mon., Jul. 16, 2012 3:21 PM EDT
by Tony Binns

Art is indeed subjective, and every now and then an artist’s work can grab you so profoundly that you wonder why you are so drawn to it. It literally speaks to the individal looking at it. Najee Dorsey is such an artist, and definintely someone to watch in the art world.  A self-taught figurative artist and native of Blytheville, Arkansas with roots in Louisiana, Dorsey draws intimately on his recollections of life in the Delta for his brightly colored mixed media paintings and sculptures. His rich compositions are compelling vignettes of Southern life. Dorsey is the Founder of Black Art in America. BAIA is the leading global social network and resource for African American visual artists, collectors, industry leaders and art enthusiasts. –tony binns

Tell us about your work.
My work is mixed media collage, finished photography, strong narratives, and strong content reflecting what is going on in African American culture.

What inspires you?  How do you choose your subjects?
I am inspired by my culture — rich culture, rich history. Some stories are untold or undocumented [and] that is where I am right now … stories like Claudette Colvin. I did a piece entitled “Before Rosa” and it is inspired by Claudette Colvin, who preceded Rosa Parks by nine months, by refusing to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.

How are you developing the “Resistance” exhibition?
I am getting the “Resistance” body of work ready for a museum show next year at the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, Ga. That body of work is about people who fought against social injustice.  The work starts off with a piece inspired by Toussaint L’Overture, leader of the Haitian Revolution of 1796 and comes forward to a piece entitled “Goggle Robert Charles.” [Charles] was a brother who decided not be a victim of police brutality on January 23, 1900. The show also includes Claudette Colvin, who was overshadowed due to her teenage pregnancy, and what is going on with the current Occupy Movement around the country and the world. I take signs of those movements and develop new pieces around that.

For more information, visit www.artbynajee.com or [email protected]

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