Rashaad Newsome’s obsessively-handmade collages in customized antique frames comprise a visual vocabulary that combines high neo-Baroque style with low pop-advertising imagery. His richly-detailed compositions form a kind of Rosetta stone for hip-hop culture. Newsome culls familiar images of luxury goods from glossy consumer magazines: sports gear, jewel-encrusted brooches, rings, watches, furs and yachts, which he then uses to create contemporary coats of arms set against meticulously-patterned backgrounds. See Newsome’s work from October 20th-December 3rd 2011 at Marblorough Gallery.
One of the highlights for me during the last couple months was hearing Michael Anderson shut down a pessimistic discussion about “no new types of painting.” His booming voice broke the ennui in the room with: “The future is really enormous and there must be at least 9 million new kinds of painting to be made.” Michael is optimistic, and his art is too. He was cool enough to let us into his studio, the Harlem Collage Shop, to check out what he is up to. Using street posters and billboards gathered in NYC and other major cities around the world, Anderson makes super-sized collages, commonly 8 x 8 feet and up. He collects the posters at night, which seems like a dangerous thing to do, but he’s a big guy and didn’t seem to give a shit, just citing his birthplace as the Bronx.