La MaMa Galleria, The Bellwether, and Codify Art are pleased to present Jarrett Key’s first solo exhibition in NYC:
HAIR PAINTINGS AND OTHER STORIES
Key grew up in rural Alabama to the sound of their grandmother singing, “your hair is your strength.” Hair Paintings... reimagines the collective bodily memories and rituals of the Black community by engaging its narratives of strength, courage, and resilience in an examination of past, present, and future. Investigating the four pillars of their identity -- Family, Blackness, Southerness, and Queerness -- through the repetition of embodied gestures, exclamation marks and language, Key’s oil paintings and hair paintings manifest the imagined individual. Each mark on the canvas is a signature of Key’s identity, an artifact of a performance that mines the possibilities in trusting one’s own queer, black body to celebrate and examine the legacy of its ancestors.
“Like [David] Hammons, Key’s work shares similarities to Edward Clark’s bold and loose acrylic-based paintings. Transcending elements of traditional painting methods, both artists push away from refined movements by emphasizing the physicality of their process.” -- Zalika Azim for Studio Museum Magazine, Fall/Winter 2017