"Go To Work. Get Your Money and Come Home. You Don’t Live There": Marcus Brutus @ Harper's Books
We have had an eye in our offices on the works of Marcus Brutus, a NY-based painter who creates daily life portraits and scenes that both capture pop-culture and common everyday acts. This past weekend, he opened a new solo show, Go To Work. Get Your Money and Come Home. You Don’t Live There., his second showing with Harper's Books in East Hampton, New York and on the eve of his new book, The Uhmericans.
The title, Go To Work. Get Your Money and Come Home. You Don't Live There is taking from Toni Morrison's 2017 essay The Work You Do, The Person You Are (a must-read). The paintings in the showcase "bring together a selection of recent figurative acrylic-on-linen paintings that depict scenes of contemporary life throughout the African diaspora."
As Harper's Books notes: "Across his vibrantly saturated and densely layered paintings, Brutus probes the power dynamics of society through portraiture, melding distinct literary, artistic, musical, and historical sources to construct imagined tableaux of the everyday. In the works comprising this exhibition, he addresses the division between personal expression and public presentation, drawing specifically upon the concepts of 'cultural dexterity' and the “black metropolis” to consider strategies of resistance and perseverance in relation to black life. These themes, the artist notes, reverberate throughout the canvases on view: Whereas 'cultural dexterity' involves the ability to adapt one's behavior to fit in with another group without losing one's identity, the 'black metropolis,' coined by St. Clair Drake and Horace R. Cayton, refers to the African American communities that have formed as places of refuge from racist policies and sentiment."
The show is on view through August 8, 2019.