King of Arms (Primary Title)
Rashaad Newsome, American, born 1979 (Artist)
Shown from below an ornate gilded urban crown draped with lush textiles, Rashaad Newsome's video conjures the grand traditions of procession and theater. His work channels a wide range of sounds and spectacles, from Mardi Gras festivities to hip-hop music to “vogueing” (gay ballroom scene from the 1980s) exploring themes of the Black body, ornamentation, and heraldic emblems. Through a blend of conceptual and technical strategies, Newsome constructs a new cultural framework of power that promotes innovation and inclusion.
The King of Arms fuses the art world with the opulent ballroom scene while engaging southern traditions of procession. Newsome welcomes collaboration from a range of leaders in the worlds of art, fashion, music, and activism, providing them with a platform for creative expression. His art especially serves as a space for LGBTQ voices and communities of color to shape their own representation and celebrate through pageantry and performance.
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