New York State of Mind

April 9th-May 16th, 2015
Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah
Rush Arts Gallery
526 W 26th St # 311
New York, NY 10001
Hours: Wed - Sat 12-6 pm
(212) 691-9552
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April 9th – May 16th, 2015

Kevin Bright, Michael Paul Britto, Mitsuko Brooks, Ronny Quevedo and Jennifer Mack-Watkins
Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah
Beyond the walls of intelligence, life is defined….. – NAS, “NY State of Mind” (1994)

New York, NY, March 26th, 2015–Rush Arts Gallery is delighted to announce New York State of Mind, a dynamic group exhibition exploring the artistic capacity to reappropriate mundane objects and utilize them as tools for query and provocation. The exhibition will feature new works from Kevin Bright, Michael Paul Britto, Mitsuko Brooks, Ronny Quevedo and Jennifer Mack-Watkins and is curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah.  The show will be on view at 526 West 26th St #311 in New York City from April 9 – May 16, 2015.  An opening reception will take place Thursday, April 9, 2015 from 6pm – 8pm.

New York State of Mind draws inspiration from the iconic songs by Billy Joel (Turnstiles, 1976) and Nasir “NAS” Jones (Illmatic, 1994) both of which articulated vivid allegories about New York City. The exhibition follows the tradition of storytelling through visual art and offers varying yet accurate artistic perspectives on the ebbs and flows of urban life. New York State of Mind explores the improvisational pace, rhythm, aggression and nostalgia that percolates within the collective consciousness of New York City. The city serves as metaphor questioning cultural identities, linguistic patterns and the need for greater socio-cultural awareness. The artists in this exhibition actively recontextualize and repurpose materials challenging viewers to reconsider their own relationship with the ideas expressed through these various artistic practices.

Kevin Bright is a self-taught artist fascinated by random patterns that appear in urban spaces. Bright will showcase a selection of photograms from his #SSCCAANNSS series featuring objects he finds on the street in his travels and scanned into the computer. Bright evokes a unique form of mark making by manually moving the objects under the scanner creating an array of colors and effects resulting in a conceptual composition that pulsates with vibrancy and energy. Michael Paul Britto examines the current manifestations of racial inequality, the consequences of its continuing existence in America, and the price society pays for its denial. Britto will exhibit a collection of collages that although simple in material are visually striking and confrontational in form. Mitsuko Brooks creates collages and sculptures that tap into her obsession with the nuances of the everyday and the hidden power that subtle monotonous moments can have on thoughts and decision making. Brooks will debut a new sculptural work that speaks to Freudian hair and teeth mythologies, as well as a desire to contain life. Ronny Quevedo’s work addresses concepts of displacement by focusing on the make-up of remembered environments. Quevedo will share work from his be(tunes) series, an on-going suite of drawings made with shoe polish on paper.  Jennifer Mack-Watkins investigates societal conformities that isolate and confine individuals into pre-defined identities. Primarily a printmaker, Mack will debut a new installation that aims to push the boundaries of the printmaking process.

Established in the 90s, the mission of Rush Arts Gallery is to provide resources and support to early career, non-commercial artists of color who lacked representation in Chelsea’s art district. Since its establishment, this mission has been expanded to support the diverse creative practices of the entire emerging artistic community, including artists, curators and writers from around the globe. Rush Arts Gallery provides an inclusive space for new audiences and promotes experimental ventures in visual art, curatorial visions, performance art, and community involvement.|

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