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Using witty, scathing sarcasm intended to spark popular debate and discussion among his viewing audience, Colin Quashie’s art faces off against hard issues of culture, politics, and race with a self-conscious awareness that often offends (or disturbs) black, white, and other; he discriminates with equality and equanimity. Quashie is equal to the hard questions he raises, but often the issues are camouflaged in pop-culture imagery that confounds as well as derides the spectator. Quashie uses media-based methods to dissect and deconstruct stereotypical views of cultural relationships. This is precisely what makes his work so challenging not only to the average viewer, but to many art insiders as well. The imagery is very accessible, luring the viewer into a dialogue that then turns their preconceptions upside down.

His work encompasses a conceptual element which shapes its meaning and underscores the use of art as didactic tools for society. Through the use of ‘positive’ social anger, Quashie uses his art to scrutinize the power bases of our social system, forcing us to examine our collective political perceptions. His point of view makes its mark by challenging us to be more thoughtful, expressive, and aware. With a fearless and blatant disregard for compromise, he confronts our favorite beliefs, and forces us to think about the roles we occupy in society.

Colin Quashie: Linked was exhibited at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston from August 23 - December 7, 2019.

Colin Quashie
Sweet Jesus, 2005
11.5 x 17.5 inches
Archival digital print

About Sweet Jesus, on the “cover” of his faux CQ magazine, Quashie states that “it’s simply a witness to a historic collision. Since both sides (religion and gay rights) believe they have the right of way and refuse to yield, they’ll have to sort it out in the courts.” This painting is the first of a planned 10 part series of collisions.