While working on my comment project again today, this time for spring 2010’s
“Chemistry of Color,” I started thinking back to when the show was actually here. The show brought works by 41 contemporary African American artists to the CMA. The artists were mostly out of Philadelphia, springing from a movement beginning in the 70s at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. So that’s your history.
At the opening of the exhibition, I started talking to a charming gentleman about the painting in front of me. It was an abstact, stunning piece with bold lines and soft shapes. Imagine my embarrassment (and delight) to find out that the man I was standing with was actually the artist himself, Moe Brooker. I’m very glad I loved the painting.
I realized that night that since school surrounds me mostly with artists who are very much dead, I had never had the experience of speaking with a living artist whose work I had seen exhibited. It was a singular, and for lack of better words, very cool experience. Although I’m the first to admit I’m not well versed in contemporary art, it turns out Mr. Brooker and I could still have a moment. He was very enchanted with a specific red shade he said was inspired by the work of Ruebens – a Baroque painter!