Friday, May 12, 2017

Arcmanoro Niles

Arcmanoro Niles combines family and memory in his beautiful paintings of Washington, DC's North East neighborhood.  
In the 90s, Washington, DC was thought of as a great American city in decline. Crime and blight dominated representations of the city in the news media, and little was known about the lives of the city's majority black population. 
The artist Arcmanoro Niles, who grew up in Washington, DC, remembers it differently, and in a new solo exhibition, Arcmanoro Niles: The Arena, at Long Gallery Harlem, he explores his upbringing through striking paintings of life size black figures and abstract, lurking, Trickster-esque characters the artist calls "Seekers," all situated within the District's urban landscape. In Niles's paintings, the capital becomes a mise-en-scéne of orange moments mixing fantasy and realism to provide a window into the painter's childhood and the friends, family, and community that existed beyond the headlines.
Read this terrific review by Antwaun Sargent here.