In her solo exhibition, now open, at Oolite Arts
, Chris Friday continues her exploration of the depiction of Black bodies and their presence or absence in contemporary space.
Before 2020, Fridays artwork was an expression of her own willingness to directly address and have conversations around systemic issues facing Black communities. However, after the murder of George Floyd and the public nature of his death, Friday and her figures turned inward.
In Good Times, a reference to the popular 1970s sitcom, Friday sources personal narratives, expressions of popular culture, and communal rituals to present broader and more nuanced understandings of blackness and Black life. Large-scale drawings depict Black bodies at leisure - playing, dancing, resting. Simultaneously, the figures turn slightly away from the viewer, keeping part of themselves hidden, rejecting full disclosure in this age of assumed access.
In the exhibition, Friday investigates the conflicting duality of mediated depictions of Black life by proposing a more personal and nuanced version of the good times. Her subjects are depicted separate from the context of the moment in which they exist, further obscuring any preconceived notions the viewer may hold.
Whether they are jumping rope, cutting a rug, or curled up on their side, Fridays work straddles the line between the quotidian and ceremonial aspects of Black social life.
You dont know if the figures are dancing at a nightclub, or are catching the Holy Ghost at church, Friday said. I wanted to make a space for both contemplation and celebration, without needing to make that distinction obvious to the viewer.
Good Times opened Jan. 18 at Oolite Arts, 924 Lincoln Road. The exhibition will be on display through April 2, 2023.
Chris Friday, resident at Oolite Arts, Friday is a South Florida-based, multidisciplinary artist. She has exhibited and curated extensively in Miami, as well as nationally and internationally. Most notably, her work was a part of The Cartography Project presented by the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC, 2022), Yard Sale x Lucy St., an exhibition and interactive shop presented by The Wolfsonian as a part of the Open House program (Miami Beach, FL, 2021), and #WhoOwnsBlackArt? presented by Zeal Press at Muce 305 (Miami, FL, 2019). Friday received a Master of Fine Arts degree (2020), and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from New World School of the Arts (2015), where she is an adjunct professor.