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Cosmo Whyte and Prospect New Orleans

For Prospect.5, Cosmo Whyte will create five new large-scale charcoal drawings and a hand painted bead curtain, interrogating the Western gaze on Black performativity and spectacle. The drawings, based on the artist’s personal as well as archival images of dance, parade, and pageantry traditions, will combine photorealistic details with passages of gestural erasure and gold leafing — a hallmark of Whyte’s drawings. The hand-painted bead curtain will use archival imagery as reference points, and fill a large door frame; to see Whyte’s drawings, viewers must pass through the curtain, breaking the image. Whyte’s Prospect installation will reflect his personal experience of immigrating from Jamaica to the American South by weaving a cross-cultural visual narrative with a focus on the relationship among New Orleans’ cultural rituals, the Caribbean, and their broader global audiences.

(Excerpt and image above selected from grant proposal. Artwork is copyright of the artist.)

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