Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Show opening and Creative Cocktail Hour at Real Art Ways Thursday

Real Art Ways
56 Arbor St., Hartford, (860) 232-1006
Alexis Peskine: Cloué: Bound By History, Class and Color
Sept. 20—Oct. 14, 2007
Opening reception: Thurs., Sept. 20, 6—10 p.m. ($10 admission for general public, free for Real Art Ways members)

Press release

Alexis Peskine's work investigates the absurdity of racism, nationalism, anti-Semitism—anything that's unjust or hypocritical—by re-contextualizing iconic symbols in odd pairings and unexpected environments. Using a variety of media, these juxtapositions address the viewer's own preconceptions of race and nationality, Peskine's own Franco-Brazilian identity, as well as international understandings of ethnicity. Peskine's work is appreciated and owned by numerous performers and musicians, including Common, Donald Byrd, and Talib Kweli.

Alexis Aliocha Peskine was born in Paris, France, on Sept. 29, 1979. He is a 2004 Fulbright Scholar who holds a B.F.A. from Howard University an M.A. and M.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Peskine's use of graphic and commercial images in fine art is informed by his early start in graphic design. At age 15, he was the youngest student to enter the Apprentice Center of Formation for the Graphic Art in Paris; he subsequently worked for Crayures as an industrial designer for clients such as Roland Garros, Malterre and Fly. He also served a stint as Creative Director for Burrell Communications in Chicago. Peskine bridges the gap between graphic design and fine art by using the same design aesthetic to appeal to the masses, as his work often touches on the ideology of consumerism and mass consumption.

As a junior at Howard University in 2002, Peskine was the first winner of the Verizon HBCU Student Art Competition; the following year, he won second place in the same competition. His work has attracted the attention of Chrissie Iles of the Whitney Museum and Yukie Kamaya of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. Burrell Communications' Chairman Emeritus Tom Burrell and musicians Donald Byrd, Talib Kweli and Common all own Peskine's work.

Drawing inspiration from his paternal grandfather who survived a German concentration camp, to his maternal grandfather who lived in the favelas of Salvador, Bahia, to the loving marriage of his own Franco-Russian father and Afro-Brazilian mother, Peskine challenges his audience with provocative, cynical and sometimes earnest takes on serious subjects. Much of his work also celebrates family, friends and the beauty and humor of solitary inanimate objects.

The opening reception for Peskine's show in Real Art Ways' Real Room will be held in conjunction with this month's Creative Cocktail Hour, which is this Thurs., Sept. 20, from 6—10 p.m. Creative Cocktail Hour is $10 for the general public and free to Real Art Ways members.

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