February 25, 2018 by Crystal Martinez
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A new exhibition opened this week titled, RE:KONSTRIKSYON – Black and Brown Futures. Curated by Dr. Scott A. Sherer and award winning fashion stylist, Kirsten Thompson, the exhibit presented a cultural experience that gave the audience an interactive insight into afrofuturism. The art showcases people of color and them being able to see themselves in the future. What do those imagined futures actually look like? How are they communicated through each piece? It also explores the idea that time is not as linear as people may think it is, instead, the past, the future and the present are all really connected. What does that mean? What does time look like from that perspective? What do we learn?
The show was incredibly inspired and I enjoyed absorbing the true meaning behind each piece while also, seeing things through the perspective of a fashion eye. While walking through the gallery it was apparent that each piece could translate into the fashion world. I first took in the work of John Jennings. It was soulful with a sense of early hip hop influence. The print that caught my eye was one of a woman wearing a headpiece made of butterfly wings. It was colorful, fun, and a little bit of the 70s could be seen in this print. Now, lets imagine that on the runway, bravo!
As unique as each piece was, all were equally powerful, assertive, and expressive. Take the self portrait of Darian Thomas, it demanded attention. The color that came from the flowers in his hair, the textiles in his garments, and the uniquely placed makeup on his face were intoxicating. I needed to know more. Luckily, some of the artists were in attendance and patrons were welcome to approach the talent for discussion.
Another fascinating piece that caught my eye was by artist Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga. She presented sculptures made of sheet metal and in speaking with her I learned that she is working on a fashion oriented collection of wearable sculptures much like the one pictured below. Her creativity and grace were admirable, her work was strong.
Juliana Kasuma was the final presentation in the walk through of the gallery. Unlike the others, these prints were in black and white. After viewing each print multiple times I couldn’t help but wonder who the women in her prints were, where did they come from, what have they seen, and what cultural influences inspire their fashionable wardrobe? The women in the pictures oozed personality and I wanted to hear their story. In speaking with curator, Kirsten Thompson, I was delighted to hear that this artist is keen on using old techniques of developing prints. All pictures are taken out in natural light and developed in a dark room. This artist’s work is incredibly inspiring and very soon, we could be seeing more of her work around San Antonio.
If you haven’t already, make sure to stop in and experience this beautifully curated exhibit. It can be found at UTSA, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX, 78249 within the Main Art Gallery, located in the Arts building. The exhibit will run through February 28th and is free and open to the public. For more details find this exhibit visit our Style Lush TV Fashion Events Calendar and stay tuned for more on Style Lush TV.