exhibition: now open; vanessa german: Art Bridges loan
January 12, 2023 - December 31, 2024
1 Arts Festival Plaza
- El Paso Museum of Art - Tom Lea Gallery
Black Girl on Skateboard… provides a meditation on the color yellow through physical objects and the written word. vanessa german, a self-taught ‘citizen’ artist, often crafts these, which she refers to as power figures, out of discarded materials from her local community. german’s power figures serve as protectors for Black people against violence. Drawing from Congolese Nkisi sculptures and elements of folk art, the works defy figurative expectations and emphasize their vibrancy through emotion and energy.
The 2022 iterations of german’s power figures include poetry written by the artist as the object’s materials list. In this decision to disrupt typical object information, german’s Black Girl on Skateboard… bridges materiality and abstraction. The artist describes the resonance of her power figures as, “active technologies of the soul that touch the vast history that exists in the spiral of our DNA.”