Invisible Man (after Ralph Ellison), 2012 - Tim Rollins and K.O.S.
About the Work
About Invisible Man (after Ralph Ellison)
On the history of the Invisible Man series, Tim Rollins says: "We were suffering from the murder of our favorite kid, Christopher Hernandez, who was shot at the age of 14. He was an innocent bystander in a murder that ...Read More
On the history of the Invisible Man series, Tim Rollins says: "We were suffering from the murder of our favorite kid, Christopher Hernandez, who was shot at the age of 14. He was an innocent bystander in a murder that killed six people, and he saw the murder. Our minds were blown. And we were looking at one of the newspaper articles about the massacre—this was in 1993—and George, his best friend, who ended up going to Bard, saw this big article in the New York Post with the tabloid headline 'MURDER VICTIM,' and what he did was cut out the 'IM' from 'VICTIM.' That's why it has a very graphic quality—it looks like a tabloid. So it was really about taking that notion of being a victim and applying it to Ralph Ellison's great novel Invisible Man, which we had been trying to work on for years. And it related to a great placard that the Memphis sanitation workers held after Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination and that Ernest Withers captured in his famous photograph that says 'I AM A MAN.' Then, of course, the different color blues come from each participant who chooses their own color, so it's a self-portrait in blue. It's pretty beautiful. The first Invisible Man painting was 12-feet-by-12-feet, and we showed it in 2000 at Baumgartner Gallery in Manhattan. That's how that happened. One of them is now in the collection of the Memphis Museum of Art, and that's pretty powerful because that's where King was assassinated."
Read the full interview with Tim Rollins here.
About the Artist
About Tim Rollins and K.O.S.
Tim Rollins and K.O.S.'s landmark partnership is perhaps the most prolific and longest-running teacher-and-student collaboration in contemporary art. A New York University-trained ...Read More
Tim Rollins and K.O.S.'s landmark partnership is perhaps the most prolific and longest-running teacher-and-student collaboration in contemporary art. A New York University-trained art educator, Rollins founded K.O.S.—short for Kids of Survival—in the early '80s as an experimental program run through his Art of Knowledge Workshop, where "at risk" students in the South Bronx are encouraged to relate their studies of literature, politics, and history with their personal experiences. In a process called "jammin," Rollins or a student of K.O.S. reads aloud from a selected text while other group members draw, paint, or otherwise respond to the text.
Many of the finished artworks incorporate pages from the selected texts or sheets of classical music with graphic and minimal shapes drawn or painted over them. The 2008 piece I See the Promised Land (After the Rev. Dr. M. L. King, Jr.) Triangle, for instance, features a solid black triangle superimposed over the Dr. King's words as an abstract evocation of the speech's power and intensity. Over time, the K.O.S. collaborations have grown to incorporate woodcut, sculpture, painting, and printmaking.
Currently, K.O.S. consists of 12 members across the United States. Rollins and K.O.S. have exhibited at such international institutions as the Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Basel (2012); the Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporaenea in Bergamo, Italy (2011); Atlanta's Museum of Contemporary Art (2006); the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. (1992); Los Angeles MOCA (1990); and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (1988). The collective has also participated in two Whitney Biennials (1985, 1991) as well as the Venice Biennale (1988) and Documenta (1987).
DescriptionIndia ink and pencil on book page.
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