September 14 Art Minute: John Rozelle, Untitled
Today's Art Minute is Untitled by artist John Rozelle.
Composed of newspaper clippings and found objects placed against a colorfully painted abstract background, John Rozelle’s mixed-media composition powerfully speaks to the Black American experience. The collage features a silhouetted, apparently male figure with a target emblazoned on his torso and a bullet casing on his neck. Shockingly, a target is also superimposed over an image of a baby. The figure with raised arms holds a tattered, folded American flag over his head. Rozelle inserts decorated handprints, colors of the pan-African flag, and other spiritual and cultural emblems of his African ancestry to offset the allusions to the nation’s history of racial strife and violence.
Responding to a question regarding his collage works that incorporate seemingly unrelated objects, Rozelle states, “I try to find spiritual connections in (my) object-making. African sensibilities are used in the presentation of contemporary social/political concerns, much like objects in use in African societies where traditional practices exist today.”
John Rozelle (American, born 1944), "Untitled." Mixed media collage, 2014. 30 1/2 by 22 3/4 in. Gift of Cynthia and Ronald Thompson, 2014.47. On view in the special exhibition "PICTURE ID: Contemporary African American Works on Paper."