Xquisite Liquorsoul (Primary Title)
Nari Ward addresses themes of culture, history, consumerism, and gentrification in his monu- mental assemblages. By transforming found everyday items and detritus into complex three-dimensional compositions, he creates works laden with symbolism. Ward constructed Xquisite LiquorsouL as part of a series of neon-sign works that chronicle the gentrification of his own neighborhood. The letters of the original “LIQUOR” sign are creatively inverted and illuminated to spell out “SOUL”—a wordplay that also references the prevalence of churches and liquor stores in Black communities like his. Ward’s addition of remnants collected from the sign’s former site—discarded shoes, shoelaces, and plastic flowers— suggests the work as a memento or memorial for what has been lost.
Jersey City, Mana Contemporary, Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale the Society Has the Capacity to Destroy, Part 1, October 15 December 15, 2017.
New York, The Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University, Uptown, June 2 August 30, 2017.
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