Echoing the aesthetics of ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman artifacts, Brown presents her largest works in her series of plaster reliefs. These sculptures aim to preserve artifacts of the 1990s hip hop era frequently attributed to African-American culture.
The works in the show act as a sartorial diary from Brown’s personal archives. The status symbols of her childhood—door-knocker earrings, rope chain necklaces, and gold-capped teeth—function here as semi-abstractions that are both playful and meditative. The use-value of these objects has been eliminated in favor of their value as time capsules of another era. The objects memorialize the aspirations of wealth in American hip-hop culture as an aesthetic phenomenon with important visual manifestations.
Brown seeks to investigate the fleeting nature of the material and social currency as well as the aesthetics of status. At the heart of this show, is an artist problematizing societal norms that frame taste and wealth as a dichotomy. By framing material signifiers from the hip-hop community as ancient artifacts worthy of preservation in a museum, the show takes a political stance.
Brown will create a number of new plaster pieces specific to the exhibition in her hometown of Detroit.
The exhibition will be on view at the gallery through August 10, 2018
ABOUT LAKELA BROWN
LaKela Brown was born and raised in the city of Detroit, MI where she attended the College for Creative Studies. She majored in Fine Arts, and earned her B.F.A. in 2005. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.