Yeelen Gallery presents Black Freedom, a series of works by French-American Miami-based artist, Jerome Soimaud.
Known for his intricately detailed, large-scale works of charcoal and graphite on canvas, this exhibition features the pillars of the Civil Rights Movement in Miami, anchored by a tribute to the last hours of the iconic Jumbo’s Restaurant, a historic symbol of the undoing of American Jim Crow. “Black Freedom” functions as a critique on the socio-psychological atmosphere of the nation.
“Black Freedom” is a continuation of the centuries old conversation on race in America and will commemorate Black History Month at Yeelen Gallery. The significance of this exhibit comes at a time when the nation is facing mounting division and a crisis of racial, and socio-economic disorder, said Karla Ferguson, gallery director. “Black Freedom, responds to recent events in the U.S. such as the killing of Michael Brown an unarmed black man by a white police officer; it speaks to the re-animation of the Civil Rights Movement and intends to expose and contribute to the end of the structures of racism, both institutional and psychological, which remain deeply ingrained in our culture, yet so repugnant to our existence as civilized people.”
Soimaud's style is a distinctive technique of painting with charcoal and graphite, which is interwoven with light, and a delicate yet exacting attention to detail. The simultaneously ephemeral and realistic mien in his work offers the viewer a fleeting glimpse with the contrasting feeling of permanence. His subjects pay homage to a bygone era of de jure segregation, while revealing the bastions of the psychological color line still separating the races in the Miami Community. “Black Freedom” reminds us that the fight for equality is not yet at an end, and calls for a new era of activism.
Born in Paris, France, in 1964, French-American artist Jerome Soimaud moved his studio to Miami in 2006 to further document the world’s African Diaspora. Soimaud studied at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, after working under the instruction of architect Alain Farel at The Ecole Nationale Superieur des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His works are in public and private collections internationally.