Published by Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Foreword by Madeleine Grynsztejn. Text by Julie Rodrigues Widholm, Paul Beatty, Ian Bourland, Touré.
Message to Our Folks is the most comprehensive documentation of New York–based artist Rashid Johnson’s work to date. Johnson (born 1977) explores the complexities and contradictions of black identity in the United States, incorporating commonplace objects from his childhood in a process he describes as “hijacking the domestic,” and transforming materials such as wood, mirrors, tiles, rugs, CB radios, shea butter and plants into conceptually loaded and visually compelling works that shatter assumptions about the homogeneity of black subjecthood. Published in the new MCA Monographs series, Message to Our Folks accompanies the artist’s first major solo museum exhibition and features essays by curator Julie Rodrigues Widholm, novelist and critic Touré and art historian Ian Bourland and an excerpt from Paul Beatty’s trenchant and comic coming-of-age novel, The White Boy Shuffle.
Rashid Johnson belongs to a generation of young African-American artists that takes an extremely critical approach to the search for its cultural roots. His artistic strategies, which include photography, painting and sculpture, performance and beyond, are aesthetically nonconformist and politically provocative.