Thursday, May 12, 2016

María Magdalena Campos-Pons at the National Portrait Gallery this Saturday!

WHAT: IDENTIFY: Performance Art as Portraiture

WHEN: Saturday, May 14, 4 p.m. 

WHERE: Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard Eighth and G streets N.W.

WHO: Cuban-born artist María Magdalena Campos-Pons and Neil Leonard

One of my favorite artists on the planet, María Magdalena Campos-Pons works with her husband, saxophonist and composer Neil Leonard, to reinsert the black body into historical narratives. Under the name FEFA, they use personal stories, music and procession to evoke both protest and devotion.

Born in Matanzas, Cuba, Campos-Pons is an internationally recognized artist known for pushing the art of portraiture in new directions through her large-format Polaroid photographs and immersive installations. Drawing on her ancestral roots in Nigeria and her childhood memories of Cuba, her performances confront the complexities of history and race.

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons

This performance will begin in the museum’s Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard. Visitors will be invited to join a procession as it continues through the museum to George Peter Alexander Healy’s portrait of President Abraham Lincoln; it will conclude in the front of museum.

Esteemed jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard, a jazz band from the Duke Ellington School, a Cuban band and additional performance artists will employ recitation and reenactment in this historic event.

IDENTIFY is the National Portrait Gallery’s first-ever performance art series, which focuses attention on activism, visibility and experimentations through portraiture. More information is available at

No comments: