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Rashawn Griffin

Studio On The Street: Rashawn Griffin, 2011 Artist-in-Residence

Artist Residency Program and Event:
July 6 – August 7, 2011
Open Studio Weekend: August 6 & 7, 2011


Forever & Today, Inc. hosts an open studio weekend presentation of works-in-progress by Rashawn Griffin, its 2011 Studio On The Street artist-in-residence (July 6-August 7, 2011).
During his residency at Forever & Today, Inc.'s storefront, Griffin has continued to simultaneously build upon and experiment with several discrete works including a series on canvas, a sound installation, small sculptures, and a site-conscious environment. For the weekend, members of the public are privy to seeing and discussing these works with Griffin while he is present in the studio.

In addition to manipulating traditional painting and drawing materials such as oil, acrylic, tempera, enamel, and ink, Griffin collects a myriad of other materials that are utilized in both elegant and startling ways for the purpose of collage and sculptural assemblage. Foil, fabric, thread, tassels, foam, pages from vintage comic books and 1960s/70s science fiction novels, captured sounds, and found novelty items and trinkets all find their way into the work. Many of these items have been gathered from the nearby Lower East Side and Chinatown neighborhoods where Forever & Today, Inc. is located.

Griffin draws from both personal experience and literature to create portraits of characters and places in his works, often highlighting the uncanny through an uneven mix of truth and fantasy. A fascination for the possibilities of parallel universes is revealed in both his interest in Ursula K. Le Guin's counterculture science fiction novel The Left Hand of Darkness (1969) that explores shifting gender, and also in his aural landscape comprised of the sounds of the countryside, replete with rain falling and fireworks.

Rashawn Griffin will visit as a teaching artist for a session with the Abrons Arts Center's Visual Arts Academy students as part of Forever & Today, Inc.'s educational outreach partnership with the Center.

Studio On The Street provides an artist without a workspace the opportunity to use Forever & Today, Inc. as a studio during the summer months. Inaugurated in the summer of 2009 and complimented by corresponding educational outreach, Studio On The Street coincides with Forever & Today, Inc.ʼs aim to respond to artists' needs while rethinking contemporary artist-centered initiatives.

Rashawn Griffin (b. 1980, Los Angeles, California) received his BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art, Maryland (2002) and holds an MFA in Sculpture from Yale University, Connecticut (2005). Based in Kansas and New York, Griffin's solo exhibitions include: Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS (upcoming); Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE (2011); and Central Utah Art Center, Ephraim, UT (2007) among others. His work has been exhibited in group exhibitions including: Queens Museum of Art, New York (2011); CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art, New York (2010); The Physics Room, Christchurch, New Zealand (2009); Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2009; 2008; 2006; 2005); Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, Germany (2008); The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2008); Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA (2007); and Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS (2006) among others. He has taught at The Cooper Union School of Art and has participated in residencies at: MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH (2006); Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2006); and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, New York (2003). Griffin has received awards from Joan Mitchell Foundation, New York (2007) and Yale University, Connecticut (2005); his work has been featured in Artforum, Art in America, Art Lies, frieze, The Guardian, The Independent, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Paper, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications.

Studio On The Street: Rashawn Griffin, 2011 Artist-in-Residence is selected by Ingrid Chu and Savannah Gorton.

Special thanks to Materials for the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs for support of Studio On The Street: Rashawn Griffin.