Clifford Owens Documents Afro-Latino Community of Esmeralda Province, Ecuador

Clifford Owens' PrelingualNovember 2 – December 14, 2008
Opening reception: Sunday, November 2, 3 – 6 pm

On Stellar Rays
33 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 598-3012

Clifford Owens was born in Baltimore in 1971 and is now based in New York. Owens graduated with a B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an M.F.A. from Mason Gross School of Visual Arts, Rutgers University, and completed the Whitney Independent Study Program. He is an artist who works in photography, video, performance, and texts, often delving into the formalism of past performance art as his subject.

On November 2, On Stellar Rays will open an exhibition of photo-based work by Clifford Owens, marking the first solo exhibition for both the gallery and the artist.

In Clifford Owens’ most recent body of color photographs, the artist explores the uniquely African-Ecuadorian community of the Esmeralda Province, Ecuador. There continues to be a thoughtful exploration of self in the work (Owens’ young son is half Ecuadorian). This is visible though the eyes of the young men Owens encountered in the Esmeraldas, who are looking intensely at Owens in each work. Prelingual, an intimate family portrait taken before his son’s birth (shown), will also be on view.

Esmeraldas is in the northernmost province of Ecuador, orginally inhabited by “the first non-indigenous settlers of the area, African slaves who staged bold escapes through dense jungle from [bordering] Colombian plantations, and later formed renegade militias to fight the Spanish.”

Read Clifford Owens’ Notes on Critical Black U.S. Performance Art and Artists.

PHOTO: Prelingual, C-print, 30 x 40 inches (76.2 x 101.6 cm)
Copyright Clifford Owens

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