Quadre Curry is a multidisciplinary artist based out of Detroit. Curry is a fluid, young, Black man reworking the traditional ways in which art is observed. He refuses to be placed into a box of what viewers believe his art should be. He’s showcasing his work at the Irwin House Gallery in Detroit on June 23 and June 30.
What does it feel like to be a Black man expressing his honest truth on canvas and in sculpture?
It definitely feels like a fight. I think that a lot of people are stepping into their truth and trying to be more open. To me, it really just feels like I’m filling in a lot of the gaps for the stories in 90 different ways that a Black man can be shown and can exist out in public. I feel like there’s a lot of stereotypes and archetypes around how I’m supposed to behave through media, and through TV, music, and movies, everything. I feel like it’s always creating a mold.
Being expressive is really breaking that mold and offering up different ways to exist with my sexuality. How I decided to present myself being more gender fluid contributes to broadening the spectrum of what it means to be a Black man. So, I’m hoping that my artwork and how I live helps younger and older people, who are trying to still exist as they are, be comfortable as they are.
What is the name of your body of work?
The name is “Reframed.” This really had to do with perspective and the lens through which we look at the world. I feel that even speaking to traditional artwork and traditional paintings, we’ve always had a very narrow view of what’s considered artwork and what is considered quality, fine artwork. This show was really stepping away from that, stepping away from Eurocentric ideals of what is quality, and trying to step into something more rooted in where I see the future going.
Especially for young Black and Brown people who are still trying to dream, we’re still trying to be free in our thought of how the future can look. Even with the artwork, how it was framed, stepping away from the traditional framing of work usually pushes our work back. I really stepped away from how we are used to framing that work.
It’s really meant to support an ideology around stepping away from tradition, not necessarily to say that tradition is bad or anything like that, but to offer new ways of looking at the world and almost compound tradition into these ideas. So, that way, it’s still there. The things we’re doing are still rooted. It’s a lot of the practices that our ancestors have set forth, but it is trying new ways to make sure that everyone can be seen, everyone can be heard and trying to make sure that progress is happening for everybody at the same time.