Let’s talk about art, hip hop music, women and feminism. The featured image is Narcissister, Self-Gratifier performance, photo by Kristy Leibowitz. All photos below were taken by me and the video is the work of artist damali abrams.

“Do you really want me, baby? Let me know…” Salt N Pepa

Last night I attended the opening of Katie Cercone‘s exhibition “Goddess Clap Back: Hip Hop Feminism in Art.” The outstanding show took place at the CUE Art Foundation on West 25th Street in Manhattan. A mix of video art, performance art, sculpture and installation, Katie presented a mind-blowing and explosive examination of the feminist voice in hip-hop culture. Drinks and cultural conversation flowed as the music of Roxanne Shante (!) and Salt N Pepa pumped in the background.

  • Artists: Damali Abrams (in collaboration with Suzanne Stroebe and Jesse Gammage) | Michelle Marie Charles | Myla Dalbesio | Lainie Love Dalby (as Diamond Lil) | Oasa DuVerney Sean Paul Gallegos | Prince Harvey | Princess Hijab | Lauren Kelley | Kalup Linzy | Irvin Climaco Morazan | Narcissister | Rashaad Newsome | Hank Willis Thomas | Noelle Lorraine Williams (in collaboration with Stafford Woods)

Here’s an excerpt from Katie’s Artist Statement: “Through the phantasmagoric ‘veil’ of my own distorted magnitude I’ve developed what I affectionately term a derelict cosmogony of the spiritualism of hip hop via the embodied freedom encompassed in its interdynamic gestures of power, symbolism, triple metaphor, dance and song as metalanguage. Paired with my work as a yoga instructor and interest in Contemporary Goddess Archetypes, my work explores Hip Hop in all its incantations as a dynamic form of esotericism or neo-Jungian ‘cultural dreaming’ in which the authors, coauthors and fans of the genre use powerful symbols and lingering sounds that engage body, mind and group soul.”

  • Find the curator on Twitter @KatieCercone to talk more about her groundbreaking work.

Make your way over to the show soon if you can, and also find below excerpts from video and performance artist damali abrams‘ work. The hot opening night reception featured fun and thoughtful performances by Jesaide Fuentes AKA B-Girl J*La-Roc & Narcissister with DJ Jackie Yo!

 

Why Can’t A Successful Black Woman Find a Man?

(A short film about the ‘tragedy of the unmarried black woman.’)

 About the Work.

In a recent interview for Museo del Barrio’s biennial, damali was asked about her influences by Rocio Aranda-Alvarado and she replied: “My work is influenced by pop music and pop culture. I love Michael Jackson, Prince, Mary J. Blige, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. My work is also informed by the self-help industry, feminist theory, television, romantic comedy, X-mas movies, and the internet, especially social media. I am also greatly influenced by Spike Lee, bell hooks, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Malcolm X and Alice Walker. In undergrad I began using my art to process a lot of the critical theory that I was reading in Women’s Studies and Africana Studies classes. My spiritual beliefs also influence my work in a major way.”

  • Find damali on Twitter @damaliabrams to discuss her powerful work.

 

Well done, all!

Goddess Clap Back: Hip Hop Feminism in Art Exhibit at Cue Art NYC
Curator Katie Cercone and Artist Damali Abrams - Goddess Clap Back: Hip Hop Feminism in Art Exhibit at Cue Art NYC

Artist Damali Abrams - Goddess Clap Back: Hip Hop Feminism in Art Exhibit at Cue Art NYC

Goddess Clap Back: Hip Hop Feminism in Art Exhibit at Cue Art NYC

Goddess Clap Back: Hip Hop Feminism in Art Exhibit at Cue Art NYC

Artist Damali Abrams - Goddess Clap Back: Hip Hop Feminism in Art Exhibit at Cue Art NYC

Goddess Clap Back: Hip Hop Feminism in Art Exhibit at Cue Art NYC

Goddess Clap Back: Hip Hop Feminism in Art Exhibit at Cue Art NYC

Goddess Clap Back: Hip Hop Feminism in Art Exhibit at Cue Art NYC

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P.S. Please also find my advice this week on the following columns and segments: Donna D’Cruz interviewBabbleNerdpocalypse’s Love School for NerdsEssence’s Intimacy Intervention and Mommy Noire’s Beauty Love Class and Women Hating Women.