David Huffman

July 18 – August 22, 2009

James Harris Gallery is pleased to present the work by David Huffman as part of the celebration of the Seattle Art Dealers Association Introductions 2009. James Harris Gallery will join its fellow SADA members during the month of July to spotlight the work of emerging artists or artists new to their galleries. We encourage viewers to participate in a special midsummer gallery walk on Saturday July 18 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This will be David Huffman’s first showing in the Northwest.

Writer Kenneth Caldwell describes Huffman’s practice as “rich compositions that explore identity and socio-political history in a futuristic world of metaphor. Some images are related to reclaiming African American icons, including historic ones like early slave trader buildings, and others are more recent, like basketball players. Still others are more personal, like astronauts, flying saucers, and even the local liquor store near Huffman’s studio. But they all relate to Huffman’s conscious and unconscious memories of childhood, art school, and growing up in a politically turbulent time.”

Huffman has created a specific vocabulary of images to allude to the means through which black men may improve their economic status. For example, Basketball Pyramid not only references ancient Egypt but also how sports can lead to an apex of success. Huffman floats referential images on top of abstracted forms to convey the appearance of mysterious landscapes. In the astronaut prints, areas of glitter or black sensitive colors evoke cosmic dust or celestial formations. But the fantasy of traveling into outer-space blackness to find other, friendlier future worlds has a historical reference to Black Nationalist thinking of the 1950s and 1960s, when Sun Ra said, “Space is the place.” More recently this trend was given the name Afro-Futurism, and Mr. Huffman’s art, like Sun Ra’s persona, embodies it.

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