December 16, 2017
to January 28, 2018
Richard Beavers Gallery Presents Frank Morrison’s Urban Restoration Exhibition. In celebration of its 10 year anniversary, the exhibition explores the reclaiming of discourse surrounding urban environments and the voices to which narrate, advocated, and profit from their existence.
The ever-increasing social cache of “street art” into contemporary “fine art” spaces is evidence of the allure of new narratives. A new narrative that highlights everyday people that are often misrepresented. The core of the city has an incubative nature that has birthed Hip-Hop, the culture that narrates a collective journey of resilience through survival. Urban Restoration, reasserts control of that dialogue and ignites a rebirth – paying tribute to the dynamic, hardworking, and dignified people of inner city communities.
From graffiti tags to fashion, Morrison’s story, our story, has been threatened and co-opted by gentrification, economic inequality, and institutional racism. In a series of portraits, Morrison masterfully advances this narrative through displaying individual characters cast against the gritty yet, vibrant typography of urban environments where he was raised. Morrison employs this embossed-contrast as a visual metaphor for each personality to stand beyond the conditions of their environment and circumstance. This classical form of portraiture, brings to the foreground not just a person, but a story, to engage and confront the audience with authentic discourse.
“Money, Power, and Respect ” captures the spirit of youthful innocence with this carefree portrait laced with playful color tones and the nostalgic iconography of “Koolaid” in the background. Morrison’s ability to illicit movement and uniquely soulful disposition to each of his subjects, stimulate a visual rhythm that choreographs everyday urban life. This rhythmic nature stems from his early beginnings as a graffiti artist and breakdancer. Morrison preserves enduring truths by telling stories both with a nostalgic and radically authentic quality. “My work dignifies the evolution of everyday, underrepresented people and places within the urban landscape. I seek to both highlight and preserve the soul of the city through the lens of inner-city, hip-hop culture, and urban iconography. The rhythmic gesture and movement within my work balances the often gritty and decayed surfaces with vibrancy and authenticity,” says Frank Morrison.
About Frank Morrison
Frank Morrison (b. 1971) started his journey as a graffiti artist in New Jersey, tagging walls with spray paint. However, it was the opportunity to tour with music artist Sybil as a breakdancer, an influential high school art teacher, and a visit to the Louvre Museum in Paris that opened him up to new artistic and creative avenues.
Morrison strives to capture people as they are, translating emotions through his paintings and leaving a memoir of our life and times today. His work depicts African-American livelihood in a way that is both familiar and comforting to those who often feel histories have been forgotten and culture has been usurped.
Morrison’s work has been featured at various art festivals and institutions from Art Basel weekend, including the Scope Miami and Red Dot art fairs, to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. His most recent solo exhibitions include “Graffiti” (2014) and “Coney Island” (2015), both at Richard Beavers Gallery.
Richard Beavers Gallery
408 Marcus Garvey Blvd.
Brooklyn, NY 11216