Sunday, December 6, 2020

ADVENT ART | NEWS OF WEEK 2 -- John Edmonds

By Gregory & Ernest Disney-Britton 
John Edmonds, Whose Hands?, 2019. Archival pigment photograph, 14 x 11 inches. Private Collection. © John Edmonds.
Happy Advent, collectors, during this season of the mother & child. Today, we're introducing you to photographer and collector John Edmonds, who has a new show at the Brooklyn Museum. By juxtaposing African art's spiritual power with shirtless Black men, he explores possession and desire in works like "Whose Hands?" where several hands grasp at a mother and child sculpture. Raised a Baptist and inspired by religious art, the queer artist was also initiated into Ghana's Akan religion. Advent, week 2, makes John Edmonds our collector's tip of the week.
Are you an artist? Are you a collector? If you like what you see each week, please invite a friend to subscribe to our periodic e-newsletter. You can also follow us weekly on Twitter, Facebook, or Soundcloud but only subscribers can vote for the Alpha Omega Prize. It is our annual recognition each November 1st of one artist's impact on religious dialogue in America.
John Edmonds was commissioned to create a large-scale installation on the façade of UOVO's art storage and services facility in Bushwick, Brooklyn. For this new work, Edmonds repurposed his 2019 photograph Whose Hands?. It features several hands forcefully grasping a figurative wooden sculpture of a mother and child, which was made by the Baule people of Ivory Coast.
John Edmonds’s "Two Spirits" (2019) both haunts and seduces. In the photograph, a bare-chested man wears a Baga bird mask from Guinea. Behind him hangs an African kuba cloth.
“The thing that really interested me is that he doesn’t look like a gym body,” Mr. Edmonds said of his model in “Anatolli & Collection,” from 2019. “He looks like he rose out of the earth.” The works are from the photographer’s collection.Credit...John Edmonds and Company, New York
“American Gods,” from 2017. “The connection to Africa is subtle here,” our critic says. “The headgear is green, red or black, the colors Marcus Garvey chose for the Pan-African Black liberation flag.”Credit...John Edmonds and Company