In the Black Fantastic: Rashaad Newsome
‘By using our voice and our creativity we can all change not only ourselves but the world around us.’
Born in New Orleans, and now living between Brooklyn and Los Angeles, Rashaad Newsome is an artist whose work blends several practices including collage, assemblage, sculpture, film, video, animation, photography, music, community organising, and performance.
Among his works exhibited in Hayward Gallery’s In the Black Fantastic are several collages – such as Isolation (2020) – which are created from a complex layering of references from art history, traditional African sculpture, architecture, and commercial media; the sculpture Ansista (2019); and the film piece, Build or Destroy (2020).
In this video Newsome talks about the challenges of finding a place in a Western art world that is weighted by colonialism. He also explains how much of his work starts from the Black female body, and draws on abstraction, on fantastical and surreal ideas to express the complexity of his lived experience; and how he hopes the figures created in his work can inspire people to think of themselves beyond constraints.
‘The Black body, or the female or femme body, is a body that comes so loaded that it’s a really exciting starting point for many of the conversations that I’m trying to have.’
An exhibition of 11 contemporary artists from the African diaspora, who draw on science fiction, myth and Afrofuturism to question our knowledge of the world. In the Black Fantastic is at Hayward Gallery until 18 September.