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IMAGE GALLERY

"Nazarite" (2020) is reproduced from
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/11/2023

Black History Month Staff Pick: 'Sharif Bey: Excavations'

"Nazarite" (2020) is reproduced from Sharif Bey: Excavations, the beautifully designed and thoughtfully conceived first major monograph on the Pittsburgh ceramicist and sculptor whose work explores functional and ritual objects, arts of the African and Oceanic diasporas, and notions of power and ornamentation. “I was raised in an anti-imperialist household influenced by the teachings of the Moorish Science Temple of America,” he writes; “founder Timothy Drew Ali promoted personal transformation, racial pride and spiritual uplift. My father vehemently rejected mass media that celebrated White heroes and marginalized or stereotyped representations of color. When it came to play and art-making, my eleven siblings and I were not allowed to play with European or White action figures. Since I was not afforded the full cast of characters, inclusive of White male protagonists, I couldn’t follow what I now understand to be the American master narrative. We substituted, imagined, or created our own characters and incidentally recreated storylines. For example, since we didn’t have Luke Skywalker, my younger brother and I asked, ‘What might Star Wars be like if Black Belt Jones [played by actor Jim Kelly] were in his place?’ My great uncle taught us to be critical of the media and question the news. He listened to alternative and international news programs on his shortwave radio. Our family instilling an acute awareness of historical inaccuracies and racial distortions led to an ongoing criticality. By the time we reached adolescence, we were used to thinking outside of the box.”

Sharif Bey: Excavations

Sharif Bey: Excavations

Carnegie Museum of Art
Pbk, 6.25 x 8.75 in. / 128 pgs / 55 color / 72 b&w.

$28.00  free shipping





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