IRWIN HOUSE GLOBAL ART CENTER & GALLERY
2351 W GRAND BLVD – DETROIT 48208
As part of its Black History Month programming, Irwin House Gallery highlights the work of local emerging artist, Ivan Quiñones II in his first-ever solo exhibition, The Price of Speech. The exhibition launches with an open house reception on Friday, February 10, 2023 from 5:00 – 10:00 pm and showcases a new body of work inspired by an intense conversation-piece he created at the end of the year entitled Not Your Negro.
Quiñones, who was born and raised in Pontiac, MI, created Not Your Negro in response to the controversy involving the Brooklyn Nets basketball player, Kyrie Irving, and uses the painting to address the greater systemic issue of silencing probing and provocative Black voices. Working with a combination of charcoal and mixed acrylic mediums, the painting depicts the player being gagged by a pair of Twitter birds with an American flag. The upturned Nike symbol on his headband his severed relationship with the brand in reaction to his public support of the film – Hebrews to Negroes – which introduces African connections to Judaism, among other provocative historical theories. The basketball gripped in Irving’s hands reads “Not Your Negro” – a play on the film’s title, nod to James Baldwin, and a comment on Kyrie’s unapologetic stance in the face of fallout.
In addition, for Black History Month, Irwin House Gallery’s RED (BLACK & GREEN) ROOM will hold representational works by selected artists including Allen Williams, BAI, Brandi Langie, Bria Erby, Dalejuan, Daniel Parker, Donald Calloway, Elonte Davis, Habacuc Bessiake, Jasmine Graham, Jimmy James Greene, Kayleigh Blevins, Kirah Price, Marlon Ivory, Quadre Curry, Rotimi Godwin, and Shirley Woodson. A John Sims tribute mural, created by Quadre Curry, is also installed through the end of the month, and revolutionary works by Sims will be displayed and screened on the 2nd floor throughout. Special programming includes Love Language on Monday, February 13, 2023 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm. This candle-lit open-mic poetry evening is being presented in tribute to Sims and the annual birthday/Valentine’s Day event he held in New York, Paris and Florida, the Square Root of Love. A Detroit native, Sims was a math and conceptual artist who passed away in his Sarasota, FL home last month. He was the gallery’s inaugural co-curator and Artist-in-Residence. An Artist Talk with Ivan Quiñones will take place on Sunday, February 19th from 2:00 – 4:00 pm and there will be an Artist Talk & Social with the RED (BLACK & GREEN) artists on Friday, February 24th.