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Opened February 22, 2008
Essex Gallery Gallery
27 1/2 Essex Steet, New York
1 (917) 447 4028

Written by Mindy Hyman

Opposite Photo: Homeless

“An African American Experience Through Graffiti Art”

Afrology is a solo art show by legendary New York City graffiti artist James Top. Top uses spray paint and mixed media on canvas to interpret the experience of African Americans in the U.S. today. Top uses the politicized hairstyle statement of the afro as a recurring theme in each of his works. Through topics such as politics, sports, music, health, and the media, Top explores the history, the current experience, and the future of Blacks in America.

Basketball Hollywood
Dealers Gangsta

Each piece at the Essex Street Gallery is grounds for discussion on the political and social ramifications of the African American Experience. The topics range from sneakers to African Americans in Hollywood to hip hop in Brooklyn. Some of the most prolific pieces to the writer of this article were Homeless, Profits and Dealers.

In Homeless, Top urges his audience to acknowledge the fact that most of the homeless in New York City are African Americans. The piece is made up of photographs of homeless men and women on the streets of New York. Profits is a collage of pictures of gasoline companies and the oil industry. Perhaps Top seeks to call attention to the fact that African Americans are affected by the international politics of the oil industry just as is the rest of America. Dealers is a collage of pictures depicting multiple pharmaceutical companies. This evocative piece satirically claims that the participants in the pharmaceutical industry are criminals just like drug dealers on the streets of Harlem.

Afrology gets the audience to take a step back from their daily lives, to reflect on the Black Experience, and to appreciate it from this artist’s point of view.

For more information, log onto: www.ewww.essexstreetgallery.comssexstreetgallery.com & http://thehypemagazine.blogspot.com/2008/02/afrology-debuts-at-essex-street-gallery.html


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