[slight sun ra content] Re: Rudy Shepherd @ Location One, July 8,

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#1 Thu, 2009-07-02 07:51
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[slight sun ra content] Re: Rudy Shepherd @ Location One, July 8,

check the "healers" list...

On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 9:56 PM, locone@dna-nyc.info wrote:

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Rudy Shepherd: Portraits July 8=9631, 2009 Opening Reception July 8, 6=968pm Location One IRP Exhibition

In "Portraits," American Artist-in-Residence Rudy Shepherd presents a series of recent works that challenge and transcend traditional notions o= f who and what is a worthy subject of high-art portraiture, e.g., criminals= , anonymous Taliban members, black heroes, or houses.

The painted portraits in Shepherd's "Criminal/Victim" series from 2009 depict both perpetrators and victims of the same crime side-by-side, visually blurring the line between innocence and guilt. By presenting the people first and the stories second a space is created for humanity to be re-instilled into the lives of people who have been reduced to mere headlines by the popular press (e.g. Timothy McVeigh).

In his "Taliban" series, also on view, Shepherd presents beautifully executed color drawings of anonymous Taliban members who, as the artist states "have lived and died for their cause and been completely forgotten= ." The portraits are based on a book from 2004 that reproduces images of Taliban soldiers taken in photographic studios in Afghanistan before thes= e men departed on "missions" from which they did not return.

In "The Healers" series from 2009 Shepherd examines his black heroes in large-scale paintings in which he presents the extraordinary individuals against luscious gold backgrounds, hung above eye level, like sacred icon= s in front of which the spectator is meant to pause, as if in the presence = of a diety. Yet, Shepherd's =91dieties'--Alice Coltrane (musician, wife of legendary John Coltrane), Sun Ra (American jazz musician), Frantz Fanon (revolutionary author from Martinique who was immensely influential in th= e field of post-colonial studies), and Octavia Butler (American science fiction author)=97are a far cry from the (Caucasian) sitters generally encountered in such traditional portraiture: Christ, Virgin Mary, and various saints, for instance.

Lastly, "Portraits" also features several small-scale paintings, all date= d 2006, that could be called "house-portraits" of significant writers, cultural thinkers or places of historical import: Frederick Douglass' Hou= se, Aerial View Neverland Ranch, Freud's Childhood Home, and the gate to the Auschwitz concentration camp with the haunting phrase emblazoned on it, Arbeit Macht Frei (Work will make you free).

Rudy's residency at Location One is supported by the Rockefeller Brothers


Based in Harlem, NY, Rudy Shepherd received a BS in Biology and Studio Ar= t from Wake Forest University and an MFA in Sculpture from the School of Ar= t Institute of Chicago. He has been in group exhibitions at P.S.1 Contempor= ary Art Center, NY, The Studio Museum of Harlem, NY, Bronx Museum of Art, NY, Art in General, NY, Triple Candie, NY, Socrates Sculpture Park, NY, Cheekwood Museum of Art, TN, Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, MD, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, CT, Southeastern Center of Contemporary Art, = NC, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL, Tart Gallery, San Francisco, CA, Analix Forever Gallery, Geneva, Switzerland and solo exhibitions at Mixed Greens Gallery, NY, Regina Miller Gallery, Carnegie Mellon Universi= ty, Pittsburgh, PA. He has been awarded Artist in Residence at Location One, = New York, PS1 National/ International Studio Program, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY, Artist in Residence Visual + Harlem, Jacob Lawrence Institute for the Visual Arts, New York, NY and Emerging Artist Fellowship, Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY. He is currentl= y represented by Mixed Greens Gallery, NY and has an upcoming two-person exhibition at Paperwork Gallery, Baltimore, MD.

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  • LOCATION ONE Based in the Soho arts district of New York, Location One is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to fostering new forms of creative expression and cultural exchange through exhibitions, residencie= s, performances, public lectures and workshops. Traditionally focused on technological experimentation and new media, Location One's residencies a= nd programs have favored social and political discourse and dialogue, and ac= ted as a catalyst for collaborations. With a unique environment providing individualized training, support, and guidance to each artist, as well as exposure for their creations and collaborations, Location One continues t= o nurture the spirit of experimentation that it considers the cornerstone o= f its mission.

### Media Contact: For further information on this exhibition or Location One= , or for images or interviews, please contact Steve Cukierski at 212-334-33= 47 or http://location1.org/contact

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