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Leonardo’s Work at Bronx Museum Ignites Focus, Thought, and Hopefully … Action

26 Feb

Feb. 26, 2021 — The Bronx Museum of the Arts was almost empty when I was there on Wednesday, but the message of its Shaun Leonardo exhibit, “The Breath of Empty Space,” was full … and forceful. 

The reflections from the glass covering of each large piece make you walk up close and wonder why the heck the curator didn’t see the reflections when they were installed. When I walked up to the piec, I didn’t understand what I was looking at. I saw various clothed body sections but I didn’t understand the action being taken. There were even cutouts from the charcoal drawing.

All this had purpose. 

Though the head of a person was non-existent, that empty half-body-like section was filled with parts of me. No, I was not killed, nor did I kill, but the message I interpreted for myself is that I have some role in the tale, even if I was in bed, or at Starbucks or on a bike ride for the seven minutes that Officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd’s neck. Anti-racism doesn’t mean not killing or not saying racist things. It means acting, speaking, showing up — against racism. There were other pieces created with related messages, some a little harder to interpret, for me at least, which is why I need to, and look forward to, returning to the exhibit to look, and think more. And read more about racism in general. And learn. And act. 

In a video on the museum’s site, Leonardo shares his message briefly but in these minimal, intense words he offers more than any art critique can provide. 

[It took me a few minutes (and I think my friend, Larry, pointed it out) to see that that the emptiness in this piece with my, and the exhibit’s, reflection in center, was the absence of George Floyd. What’s more powerful than that?]

“And if you experience something lodged in your body, some guttural, visceral impression, then I wish for you to stay with that for a moment, to sit with the hurt,” he said, “so that you may leave this exhibition questioning the ways that we perceive. And at the end of this experience, we may discover ways to move differently in the world and to breathe life into this history of violence.”

The show is on until May 30. Attendance is free but you must make a reservation which is rather easy. Go if you can!

Bronx Documentary Center Hosts Discussion with 2 Latin American Photographers

5 Aug

On Instagram, this Friday, Bronx Documentary Center is hosting discussions with two exhibiting photographers, Adriana Loureiro Fernández and César Rodríguez. Details here.

The Red I Found in Kingsbridge (Bronx)

3 Aug

8.3.20 — Asked as a kid what my favorite color was, I’d always say purple. But if you look at my art (IG: @jordanmossart), begun at age 48, there’s a ton more red. It’s me, but not a me I’ve gotten to understand too well. Why did it dominate my work so far? Dunno.

I took a bunch of shots at this one fire alarm on Godwin Terrace, a street, believe it or not, I’ve never walked or run on until today. I was headed in that direction from a run in Marble Hill, which despite my decade-and-a-half life in Kingsbridge Heights, I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve walked or run through it. Anyway, the reds, pinks, oranges in here blow me away. To me, this is a kind of art I could never, or should never, create. Yes, I will use/steal aspects of its textures and colors and take photos of it galore, choosing the parts I like and even editing its color (didn’t here). But it’s not any kind of message coming through me; it’s beauty and intensity I ran into. It is, I guess, an ongoing focus of my photography. (I took a ton more shots today but this is the one I like most.)

Photo by Jordan Moss

Speaking of my red artwork, here’s a recent piece of my mixed media abstract work that I began a good while ago at the Art Students League and completed over the summer.

“Keep Going” 2020. 27 in. x 16 in. Acrylic, cardboard, plywood, sand. By Jordan Moss

As you may have noticed, I haven’t blogged in months, and not consistently in the last few years. I am no longer a journalist, but I reboot my blog here to focus on art, my art, Bronx art, local issues of all kinds and creativity in general. We’ll all see where I head with it. Your input, ideas and thoughts are welcome. The Bronx matters.

Seeing Bronx Museum Exhibits Wherever You Are

31 Mar

Museums, galleries, theatres, schools, concert halls … they all might be technically closed but that doesn’t mean they can’t share their art and creativity. So many have! Here’s a Bronx Museum of the Arts show I haven’t gotten to see close up yet, but am grateful for its visual video existence. Take a look:

 

P.S. The Bronx Museum of the Arts is sharing much of its work online via videos like above.

Eastern Bloc Artists’ Exhibit at Derfner Judaica Museum at Hebrew Home (in Riverdale/Bronx)

13 May

Fremund

Richard Fremund (Czech, 1928–1969), Easter Landscape (Velikonocni Krajina), 1963, oil on canvas, 35 x 45 1/2 inches.

If you love art, you should get to know, if you haven’t already, the Derfner Judaica Museum, based at the Hebrew Home, in Riverdale. It’s free and wonderful to see. Here’s info on the exciting exhibit and opening on May 19 to check out …

“Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection at Hebrew Home at Riverdale is pleased to announce its latest exhibition, From the Eastern Bloc to the Bronx: Early Acquisitions from The Art Collection, on view in the Derfner Judaica Museum from May 5–August 25, 2019. A reception and curator’s talk will be held on Sunday, May 19, 2019, from 1:30–3 p.m. in the Museum, located at 5901 Palisade Avenue in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. This event is free and open to the public. R.S.V.P. 718.581.1596 or art@hebrewhome.org. Photo I.D. required for entry at all times. 

“The exhibition is part of the Derfner Judaica Museum’s 10th Anniversary celebration, which will include several events and activities throughout the summer.” More info here

 

Rabin

Oscar Rabin (Russian, 1928–2018), Cats Under Crescent Moon, 1963, oil on canvas, 35 ½ x 43 ½ inches

love art, you should get to know, if you haven’t already, the Derfner Judaica Museum, based at the Hebrew Home,  in Riverdale. (It’s free and wonderful to see.) Here

Poetry Reading at Hebrew Home/Derfner Judaica Museum in Observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day

30 Apr

Tomorrow evening, Wed. 5/1, at Derfner Judaica Museum at Hebrew Home in Riverdale (northwest Bronx), there will be a free poetry reading and film screening. More info here:

Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection at Hebrew Home at Riverdale will host a poetry reading and film screening in observance of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) on Wednesday, May 1, at 6:30 p.m. A pre-event reception will be held in the Museum, followed by the program commencing at 7 p.m. in the Winter Garden on the main floor of the Jacob Reingold Pavilion located at 5901 Palisade Avenue, in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx. This event is free and open to the public. Please R.S.V.P. to 718.581.1596 or art@hebrewhome.org. Photo I.D. required for entrance.

Link to Facebook invite here.

Criminal Justice Focus at Bronx Documentary Center Screening and Panel Discussion

9 Jan

The Bronx Documentary Center in Melrose will host “Visualizing Criminal Justice,” a screening and panel discussion, with the Marshall Project. on Thurs., Jan. 11 at 7  p.m. “Jenny Carchman’s We Are Witnesses takes a deeper look at the faces behind the complex and highly-flawed criminal justice system.” More info here.

Photos at Bronx Documentary Center Holiday Sale

12 Dec

Here are some photos up for grabs through 12/18 at Bronx Documentary Center’s holiday sale, as I mentioned in my prior post.