Necessity of Tomorrow(s) Logo

Supporting the future(s) we want

James Williams II

Born Syracuse, NY 1982

BLK/M/5'8

2017
Oil on Panel and LCD Screen, 16in x 17in
Runtime 1:27 on loop
Courtesy of the artist

More on this artist

Instagram

Synopsis

In the year Wesley Morris wrote an article for the New York Times called “The Year We Obsessed over Identity” I was interested in challenging the superimposed identities on both a micro and macro level with BLK/M/5’8”. This piece speaks on race and visual representation within the U.S. as it pertains to the anthropomorphizing of the Black construct throughout the history of policing. The hand gesture-like performance of the black profile head created by shadow puppets are held in real time only later to be broken down by the length of time and its weight.

Biography

James Williams II is a curator and interdisciplinary artist whose work encompasses painting, sculpture, and photography. His works center on topics of social and cultural identity in the United States tied together by self-portraiture and narration. Recently in the last year, Williams has exhibited in Baltimore, Chicago, and NYC. His most recent solo exhibition, Color of the Day was at Resort Baltimore located in Baltimore, MD. Williams’s most recent curatorial project, Whatchamacallit was an exhibition and an accompanying publication that focused on superimposed identities and the growing obsession over them. Williams is the recipient of the MFA Joan Mitchell Foundation award and is a member of the Book Club art collective which recently participated in the 2020 SPRING/BREAK art fair. Williams, originally from Upstate New York lives in Baltimore. He received his master’s degree from the Mount Royal School of Art at Maryland Institute College Art (MICA) and currently teaches at MICA.