Untitled Art, San Francisco

Work

Untitled Art San Franciso

RAMEKON O’ARWISTERS / Cheesecake #13 / fabric, ceramics from CSULB ceramic program, beads, pins / 31 x 20 mx 20 inches

Markus Linnenbrink / GIVEMEABEAUTIFULAUDIENCE / 2019 / epoxy resin on wood / 36 x 48 inches

DEMETRI BROXTONWorth the Weight / 2019-20 / Everlast gloves, cowrie shells, 24K gold Japanese delica beads, Czech seed beads, redwood, frankincense, cotton & nylon thread, brass nails, mirrors, stainless steel chain and hardware

Inspired by the opening track of Jidenna’s 85 to Africa and Saidiya Hartman’s Lose Your MotherWorth the Weight brings together several key ideas central to Broxton’s body of work. Cowrie shells were one of the key forms of currency used to purchase enslaved Africans during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. According to Hartman’s research, a strong male could be purchased for approximately 1 pound of cowrie shells for every 13 pound of the man’s body weight. Worth the Weight brings together the history of boxing which has been heavily tied into concepts of race and racial superiority ever since Jack Johnson became the first Black heavyweight champion of the world in 1908. The boxing gloves are embellished with cowrie shells and cascade down to a larger pile of 17 pounds of cowrie shells — corresponding to the purchase amount for the average weight of modern heavyweight boxers.

 

 

 

 

Demetri Broxton / Hustle & Motivate / 2019 / boxing gloves, quartz, onyx, silver plated Japanese beads, quartz crystal points, cowrie shells, silver wire, mirrors, thread, chain

Hustle & Motivate is a track on the debut studio album of the late rapper, Nipsey Hustle. Hustle was an American rapper, entrepreneur, and activist. His ethic of independently releasing his own mixtapes and starting businesses located in his hometown of South-Central Los Angeles while also investing and giving back to his community, make him a legend in the hip hop world. Like all the famous boxers, Nipsey Hustle transcended to god-like status.

This piece was made as a commission for J. Erving, the founder of digital distribution and label services Human Re Sources. Erving’s concept of artist as entrepreneur is in alignment with the philosophy of how Nipsey Hustle ran his businesses and Erving’s love for boxing. The gloves are embellished with cowrie shells, quartz, and onyx points. In metaphysical belief, onyx symbolizes initiation and change while clear quartz represents clarity and guidance. Cowries shells are more complicated with their opposing historical uses as both blood money and sacred object. Together, the semi-precious stones and shells serve to remind us of the struggles of the past while encouraging future growth.

MARKUS LINNENBRINKCONTACTMAGICALBOY / 2019 / epoxy resin on wood / 48 x 48 inches (123.84 cm x 123.84 cm)

DEMETRI BROXTONSave Me, Joe Louis / 2019-20 / Everlast boxing gloves, redwood, cowrie shells, Japanese and Czech seed beads, cotton, silver wire, stainless steel chain & hardware, frankincense, nylon thread, mirrors

The power of boxing in the African American community during the Jim Crow era is central to Save Me, Joe Louis. In the 1930s, a Black inmate on death row in a Southern state is asphyxiated in a gas chamber. As he breathes the fatal fumes, and as observers watch from behind a thick pane of glass, he cries out: “Save me, Joe Louis! Save me, Joe Louis!” The story has been told over and over again, usually to demonstrate Joe Louis’ nearly god-like status for Black Americans in the pre-World War II era. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is most famous for retelling this story. Save Me, Joe Louis intends to ask the question of how much progress America has made since the 1930s? Do we still need a superhero?

Embellished with cowrie shells, beads, and mirrors, the piece becomes a totem for those who still need a great Black hope.

RAMEKON O’ARWISTERS / Cheesecake #14 / fabric, ceramics from CSULB ceramic program, beads, pins / 29 x 20 x 18 inches

Untitled Art Fair 2020

Markus Linnenbrink / QUESTIONMARKSLINGERANDOBJECTSFALLDOWN / 2019 / epoxy resin on wood / 24 x 96 inches

RAMEKON O’ARWISTERS / Cheesecake #13 / fabric, ceramics from CSULB ceramic program, beads, pins / 31 x 20 x 20 inches

Markus Linnenbrink / GIVEMEABEAUTIFULAUDIENCE / 2019 / epoxy resin on wood / 36 x 48 inches

DEMETRI BROXTONWorth the Weight / 2019-20 / Everlast gloves, cowrie shells, 24K gold Japanese delica beads, Czech seed beads, redwood, frankincense, cotton & nylon thread, brass nails, mirrors, stainless steel chain and hardware

Inspired by the opening track of Jidenna’s 85 to Africa and Saidiya Hartman’s Lose Your MotherWorth the Weight brings together several key ideas central to Broxton’s body of work. Cowrie shells were one of the key forms of currency used to purchase enslaved Africans during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. According to Hartman’s research, a strong male could be purchased for approximately 1 pound of cowrie shells for every 13 pound of the man’s body weight. Worth the Weight brings together the history of boxing which has been heavily tied into concepts of race and racial superiority ever since Jack Johnson became the first Black heavyweight champion of the world in 1908. The boxing gloves are embellished with cowrie shells and cascade down to a larger pile of 17 pounds of cowrie shells — corresponding to the purchase amount for the average weight of modern heavyweight boxers.

 

 

Untitled Art Fair 2020

MARKUS LINNENBRINKCONTACTMAGICALBOY / 2019 / epoxy resin on wood / 48 x 48 inches (123.84 cm x 123.84 cm)

RAMEKON O’ARWISTERS / Cheesecake #14 / fabric, ceramics from CSULB ceramic program, beads, pins / 29 x 20 mx 18 inches

MARKUS LINNENBRINKCONTACTMAGICALBOY / 2019 / epoxy resin on wood / 48 x 48 inches (123.84 cm x 123.84 cm)

DEMETRI BROXTONSave Me, Joe Louis / 2019-20 / Everlast boxing gloves, redwood, cowrie shells, Japanese and Czech seed beads, cotton, silver wire, stainless steel chain & hardware, frankincense, nylon thread, mirrors

The power of boxing in the African American community during the Jim Crow era is central to Save Me, Joe Louis. In the 1930s, a Black inmate on death row in a Southern state is asphyxiated in a gas chamber. As he breathes the fatal fumes, and as observers watch from behind a thick pane of glass, he cries out: “Save me, Joe Louis! Save me, Joe Louis!” The story has been told over and over again, usually to demonstrate Joe Louis’ nearly god-like status for Black Americans in the pre-World War II era. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is most famous for retelling this story. Save Me, Joe Louis intends to ask the question of how much progress America has made since the 1930s? Do we still need a superhero?

Embellished with cowrie shells, beads, and mirrors, the piece becomes a totem for those who still need a great Black hope.

RAMEKON O’ARWISTERS / Cheesecake #14 / fabric, ceramics from CSULB ceramic program, beads, pins / 29 x 20 mx 18 inches

 

Markus Linnenbrink / QUESTIONMARKSLINGERANDOBJECTSFALLDOWN / 2019 / epoxy resin on wood / 24 x 96 inches

DEMETRI BROXTONSave Me, Joe Louis / 2019-20 / Everlast boxing gloves, redwood, cowrie shells, Japanese and Czech seed beads, cotton, silver wire, stainless steel chain & hardware, frankincense, nylon thread, mirrors

The power of boxing in the African American community during the Jim Crow era is central to Save Me, Joe Louis. In the 1930s, a Black inmate on death row in a Southern state is asphyxiated in a gas chamber. As he breathes the fatal fumes, and as observers watch from behind a thick pane of glass, he cries out: “Save me, Joe Louis! Save me, Joe Louis!” The story has been told over and over again, usually to demonstrate Joe Louis’ nearly god-like status for Black Americans in the pre-World War II era. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is most famous for retelling this story. Save Me, Joe Louis intends to ask the question of how much progress America has made since the 1930s? Do we still need a superhero?

Embellished with cowrie shells, beads, and mirrors, the piece becomes a totem for those who still need a great Black hope.

UNTITLED ART, SAN FRANCISCO

RAMEKON O’ARWISTERS / Cheesecake #13 / fabric, ceramics from CSULB ceramic program, beads, pins / 31 x 20 mx 20 inches

Markus Linnenbrink / QUESTIONMARKSLINGERANDOBJECTSFALLDOWN / 2019 / epoxy resin on wood / 24 x 96 inches

DEMETRI BROXTONWorth the Weight / 2019-20 / Everlast gloves, cowrie shells, 24K gold Japanese delica beads, Czech seed beads, redwood, frankincense, cotton & nylon thread, brass nails, mirrors, stainless steel chain and hardware

Inspired by the opening track of Jidenna’s 85 to Africa and Saidiya Hartman’s Lose Your MotherWorth the Weight brings together several key ideas central to Broxton’s body of work. Cowrie shells were one of the key forms of currency used to purchase enslaved Africans during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. According to Hartman’s research, a strong male could be purchased for approximately 1 pound of cowrie shells for every 13 pound of the man’s body weight. Worth the Weight brings together the history of boxing which has been heavily tied into concepts of race and racial superiority ever since Jack Johnson became the first Black heavyweight champion of the world in 1908. The boxing gloves are embellished with cowrie shells and cascade down to a larger pile of 17 pounds of cowrie shells — corresponding to the purchase amount for the average weight of modern heavyweight boxers.

 

 

Demetri Broxton / Hustle & Motivate / 2019 / boxing gloves, quartz, onyx, silver plated Japanese beads, quartz crystal points, cowrie shells, silver wire, mirrors, thread, chain

Hustle & Motivate is a track on the debut studio album of the late rapper, Nipsey Hustle. Hustle was an American rapper, entrepreneur, and activist. His ethic of independently releasing his own mixtapes and starting businesses located in his hometown of South-Central Los Angeles while also investing and giving back to his community, make him a legend in the hip hop world. Like all the famous boxers, Nipsey Hustle transcended to god-like status.

This piece was made as a commission for J. Erving, the founder of digital distribution and label services Human Re Sources. Erving’s concept of artist as entrepreneur is in alignment with the philosophy of how Nipsey Hustle ran his businesses and Erving’s love for boxing. The gloves are embellished with cowrie shells, quartz, and onyx points. In metaphysical belief, onyx symbolizes initiation and change while clear quartz represents clarity and guidance. Cowries shells are more complicated with their opposing historical uses as both blood money and sacred object. Together, the semi-precious stones and shells serve to remind us of the struggles of the past while encouraging future growth.

Demetri Broxton / Hustle & Motivate / 2019 / boxing gloves, quartz, onyx, silver plated Japanese beads, quartz crystal points, cowrie shells, silver wire, mirrors, thread, chain

Hustle & Motivate is a track on the debut studio album of the late rapper, Nipsey Hustle. Hustle was an American rapper, entrepreneur, and activist. His ethic of independently releasing his own mixtapes and starting businesses located in his hometown of South-Central Los Angeles while also investing and giving back to his community, make him a legend in the hip hop world. Like all the famous boxers, Nipsey Hustle transcended to god-like status.

This piece was made as a commission for J. Erving, the founder of digital distribution and label services Human Re Sources. Erving’s concept of artist as entrepreneur is in alignment with the philosophy of how Nipsey Hustle ran his businesses and Erving’s love for boxing. The gloves are embellished with cowrie shells, quartz, and onyx points. In metaphysical belief, onyx symbolizes initiation and change while clear quartz represents clarity and guidance. Cowries shells are more complicated with their opposing historical uses as both blood money and sacred object. Together, the semi-precious stones and shells serve to remind us of the struggles of the past while encouraging future growth.

Markus Linnenbrink / QUESTIONMARKSLINGERANDOBJECTSFALLDOWN / 2019 / epoxy resin on wood / 24 x 96 inches

Untitled Art 2020

DEMETRI BROXTONWorth the Weight / 2019-20 / Everlast gloves, cowrie shells, 24K gold Japanese delica beads, Czech seed beads, redwood, frankincense, cotton & nylon thread, brass nails, mirrors, stainless steel chain and hardware

Inspired by the opening track of Jidenna’s 85 to Africa and Saidiya Hartman’s Lose Your MotherWorth the Weight brings together several key ideas central to Broxton’s body of work. Cowrie shells were one of the key forms of currency used to purchase enslaved Africans during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. According to Hartman’s research, a strong male could be purchased for approximately 1 pound of cowrie shells for every 13 pound of the man’s body weight. Worth the Weight brings together the history of boxing which has been heavily tied into concepts of race and racial superiority ever since Jack Johnson became the first Black heavyweight champion of the world in 1908. The boxing gloves are embellished with cowrie shells and cascade down to a larger pile of 17 pounds of cowrie shells — corresponding to the purchase amount for the average weight of modern heavyweight boxers.

 

 

DEMETRI BROXTONSave Me, Joe Louis / 2019-20 / Everlast boxing gloves, redwood, cowrie shells, Japanese and Czech seed beads, cotton, silver wire, stainless steel chain & hardware, frankincense, nylon thread, mirrors

The power of boxing in the African American community during the Jim Crow era is central to Save Me, Joe Louis. In the 1930s, a Black inmate on death row in a Southern state is asphyxiated in a gas chamber. As he breathes the fatal fumes, and as observers watch from behind a thick pane of glass, he cries out: “Save me, Joe Louis! Save me, Joe Louis!” The story has been told over and over again, usually to demonstrate Joe Louis’ nearly god-like status for Black Americans in the pre-World War II era. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is most famous for retelling this story. Save Me, Joe Louis intends to ask the question of how much progress America has made since the 1930s? Do we still need a superhero?

Embellished with cowrie shells, beads, and mirrors, the piece becomes a totem for those who still need a great Black hope.

Installation at Untitled Art Fair 2020

DEMETRI BROXTONSave Me, Joe Louis / 2019-20 / Everlast boxing gloves, redwood, cowrie shells, Japanese and Czech seed beads, cotton, silver wire, stainless steel chain & hardware, frankincense, nylon thread, mirrors

The power of boxing in the African American community during the Jim Crow era is central to Save Me, Joe Louis. In the 1930s, a Black inmate on death row in a Southern state is asphyxiated in a gas chamber. As he breathes the fatal fumes, and as observers watch from behind a thick pane of glass, he cries out: “Save me, Joe Louis! Save me, Joe Louis!” The story has been told over and over again, usually to demonstrate Joe Louis’ nearly god-like status for Black Americans in the pre-World War II era. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is most famous for retelling this story. Save Me, Joe Louis intends to ask the question of how much progress America has made since the 1930s? Do we still need a superhero?

Embellished with cowrie shells, beads, and mirrors, the piece becomes a totem for those who still need a great Black hope.

Press Release

 

Hot off the Press!!  Brian Boucher, Writer-in-Residence  for Untitled Art, SF, interviews Ramekon O’Arwisters

 

Exhibition Dates: January  17 – 19, 2020
UNTITLED SF:  Demetri Broxton | Markus Linnenbrink | Ramekon O’Arwisters

 

Location: 
Pier 35, 1454 The Embarcadero

Hours:
VIP & Press Preview: Thursday, January 16, 2pm–8pm
Friday: January 17, 12pm – 8pm
Saturday: January 18, 12pm – 6pm
Sunday: January 19, 12pm – 6pm

 

 

Ramekon O’Arwisters’ new series of sculpture, Cheesecake, have transformed from something broken, needing mending, to fully determined and self-aware. Being Black and Queer, the full complexity of the moniker Cheesecake, used to objectify an attractive, sexualized man or woman is not lost to O’Arwisters. Instead he embraces it, subverting the demeaning implication in describing his said, “objects”. Combining lacy, embellished fabrics with ceramics contributed by students and faculty from California State University at Long Beach, O’Arwisters sculptural hybrids embody both danger and seduction in his bold ‘coming of age’ works.

Born in Kernersville, North Carolina, O’Arwisters earned a M.Div. from Duke University Divinity School in 1986. He was an artist-in-residence at the de Young Museum, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and the Vermont Studio Center. Grants and Awards include Artadia: The Fund for Art and Dialogue, NY, the San Francisco Foundation and the San Francisco Arts Commission Cultural Equity Program. He received the 2014 Eureka Fellow, awarded by the Fleishhacker Foundation in San Francisco. His work has been featured in the LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, 7×7 Magazine, Artnet, and the San Francisco Examiner. Ramekon O’Arwisters is the founder of Crochet Jam, a community arts project infused with folk-art traditions that foster a creative culture in cooperative relationships.

 

Demeti Broxton’s textile sculptures reflect his connection to the sacred art of the Yoruba people of Nigeria, the beading traditions of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians, and his love of hip hop and graffiti. He understands his work as an ongoing investigation of cultural continuities from Africa to America and is particularly interested in how these ancient cultural forms find their way into mainstream culture. Thus, elements of Nigerian royal regalia, sports equipment with significant ties to African American history, Southern voodoo/hoodoo traditions, and quotes from hip-hop artists are seamlessly blended with beaded patchwork employing the same techniques used by the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians.

Boxing gloves, hand-embroidered with beads, using a backstitch, an adaptation of Yoruba beading traditions and Native American beading techniques will be on view. Woven in are also objects of power and protection, such as High John the Conqueror root, a staple in American Hoodoo traditions and other hidden talismans. Broxton’s work connects contemporary hip-hop artists to the tradition of the Oba, where lyrical quotes and personas embody superhuman power and even some, like Pusha T, who call themselves gods.

In the Yoruba and New Orleans tradition, men are the creators of beaded regalia; however, this is not the case in mainstream American culture where beading and weaving techniques are often seen as women’s work. Broxton’s mash up of bead weaving, which quotes hypermasculine phrases from hip-hop songs, creates an intentional tension and contrast between delicate and powerful, beautiful and dark, masculine and feminine. The use of cowrie shells adds an additional layer of complexity to the underlying ideas in Broxton’s work. Cowrie shell sculptures in the Yoruba tradition are called Ilé Ori or House of the Head Shrines. Ilé Ori are shrines to a person’s spiritual essence; protected by a shield of cowrie shells. During the height of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, human beings were purchased with cowrie shells brought by Portuguese slave ships. In some cases, owning an Ilé Ori could protect a wealthy Yoruba person from being sold into slavery. This juxtaposition of beauty, pain, power, and influence can be seen throughout Broxton’s series; as the shells in Broxton’s artwork represent the violence and wealth of the slave trading economy – a heritage that continues in sports and hip-hop lyrics.

Demetri Broxton is a mixed media artist of Louisiana Creole and Filipino heritage. He was born and raised in Oakland, CA and earned a BFA with an emphasis in oil painting at UC Berkeley in 2002. Demetri is influenced by craft and folk traditions and is passionate about infusing these traditions into fine art.

 

Markus Linnenbrink’s paintings are described as both performative and extreme. Linnenbrink pours and pools resin with cumulative layers of opaque and translucent pigments, building the dramatic physicality of his objects. Using a medium with short-lived malleability, his early epoxy paintings relied on the interplay between liquidity and gravitational pull; while later surface derivations were devised with mechanical assistance, forming concentric depressions, then incised channels. Linnenbrink’s creative vocabulary was described by David Pagel, art critic for the Los Angeles Times, in an essay, Gestural Abstraction in the Information Age: “Linnenbrink paints himself out of the picture. His paintings fly in the face of the idea that art is all about self-expression… Hands-off detachment, unsentimental experimentation, and quasi-scientific exploration play potent roles in his complex compositions, whose surfaces take painting to extremes, both sculpturally and coloristically.”

Markus Linnenbrink garnered attention in the U.S. and Europe with wall paintings at the UCLA Hammer Museum, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the Kunstmuseum in Bonn, and Museum Haus Esters, Krefeld. Recent significant commissions are 75 Rockefeller Center, New York with a 7-by-90-foot painting installed in their public concourse lobby; and Morrison & Foerster, New York installation of eight, 9-by-42 foot wall paintings, one on each of their eight floors; and Jorge M. Pérez SLS Brickell 40,000 sq. ft. wall painting, Miami, Florida. Over 50 works are in public collections, which include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; UCLA Hammer Museum; The Hague Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Netherlands; Neue Galerie, Kassel; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia; Museum Katharinenhof, Kranenburg; Kunsthalle Recklinghausen; Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel; Clemens Sels Museum, Neuss; and 75 Rockefeller Center, NY.