Following the opening of his ‘I Am As I Am — A Man’ retrospective, which closes on July 24 at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, Napoleon Jones-Henderson, an inventive mixed media artist and founding member of AfriCOBRA, began curating “THE LONG VIEW: WHAT DO YOU SEE (DO YOU SEE ME!),” a new exhibition at the Bromfield Gallery featuring five prominent African- American artists from Boston.
In his curator’s statement, Jones-Henderson writes, “I regard a ‘LONG VIEW’ as a space where one reflects but imagines forward. Imagining forward is a sacred journey, not a stopover, of visioning.” The paintings, digital prints, collage, and fiber works of Bryan McFarlane, Hakim Raquib, Ekua Holmes, Chandra Dieppa Méndez-Ortiz and Napoleon Jones- Henderson present stories of humanity’s collective journey — showcasing artists significant to Boston’s creative history. The “LONG VIEW” artists are image makers, defined by Jones-Henderson as creatives who make art that is relevant and has value not only to themselves, but to the people they are sharing it with.
His choice of bringing this particular group together is due to deep admiration for the themes in their work, “…these are individuals I have been on this aesthetic journey for decades with. . . I see them as family. I have learned from them and they have shared that they have learned from me. Their work fits within the context of the ‘LONG VIEW’ statement, each work is distinctive in its own way, they have a thread that travels through which is work that explores the ethos and aesthetics of African people especially in the western hemisphere.”