Shaw Osha
Arabesque In Remembrance of Kajieme Powell
2014
Oil and acrylic on paper
11 x 14 in
These eight paintings are based on a cell phone video of a man who ends up being killed by the police and available on Youtube. The frames chosen happen over the couple of minutes, before the police arrive, when the potential flow of events was still undetermined. These paintings contemplate, make a plea, and memorialize this precarious moment in the middle, the arabesque.
Robert Storr wrote about Richter’s Baader-Meinhof paintings, “In photographs we can see death with a nakedness no other medium affords. But photography does not allow us to contemplate death. Contemplation is akin to what I’m calling enactments that enable reflection.”
They were painted over the span of a couple weeks. Each frame is suspended, as if there could have been a different outcome had it happened on a different day.
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