Bold As Brass (or, Third Year Review) reflects Murff’s desire to name and dismantle the anti-Black violence he has experienced in order to effect change in problematic spaces and systems. Murff’s work in sculpture and collage is a discursive narrative on the evolution and perpetuation of this violence and grapples with the complicated entanglement of the photographic medium with the histories of spectacle, commodification, and race. Bold As Brass continues the artist’s development of a new visual language and purpose—often contextualized by found or appropriated images and commissioned texts—pioneered in his acclaimed series, “At No Point In Between.”
“The work I make is me affirming my worth and the worth of other Black people. I am crafting a space to breathe, move, and liberate ourselves and embolden others to do the same once free,” said Zora J Murff. “I’m grateful to see organizations like Baxter St, 7|G Foundation, and Aperture combining their resources to create a high level of support for meaningful artists whose work often goes unrecognized or unacknowledged for many reasons. The Next Step Award allowed me to make the necessary space in my life to expand my practice and scholarship.”
Alongside the exhibition, and as part of Baxter St of CCNY’s mission to amplify image-based artists with strong worldviews, Murff will also launch his first major monograph, True Colors (or, Affirmations in a Crisis), a 220-page book to be published by Aperture in February 2022. Advance copies will be available at the exhibition upon request.
“Zora Murff’s solo exhibition Bold As Brass will set a precedent for rethinking and reimagining photographic storytelling, as he pushes the definition of photography through collage and sculpture and explores identity on a personal level,” said Baxter St Director Jil Weinstock. “Murff was selected for the outstanding work he began with the published series ‘At No Point in Between’ and has continued in ‘American Mother, American Father.’ Baxter St believes in Murff’s vision and was thrilled to partner with Aperture and the 7|G Foundation to invest in the scholarship of his work. We are excited to see how his practice will evolve with the Next Step Award and Baxter’s ongoing support during this critical stage in his development.”