The RJD Gallery on Main Street in Sag Harbor will open “Barbed Wire and Picket Fences” this Saturday, April 9 with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. The show, which will be on display through May 9, features artists Charlotta Janssen and Phillip Thomas. These contemporary artists document the struggle towards a “post -racial atmosphere.” Both artists incorporate elements of collage to their mixed media figurative works to emphasize the multi-layered stories behind their subjects.
Mr. Thomas has been called the most cerebral painter Jamaica has ever had. His new works define the relationship between workers and owners of the “great house;” the interaction between house owner and the enslaved, in a dialogue that is no less violent, but has now taken on the tone of violence masked by the aesthetics of civility.
Ms. Janseen grew up in Germany and in all her figurative training received, then and after, she says learned on “‘white” people. She was fascinated by Americana and came across photographs of Freedom Riders’ and Bus Boycotter’s mug shots. She was struck by their strength and asked herself, being American born, why didn’t I know of this? In their art, Mr. Thomas and Ms. Janssen are calling us all, to accept and confront our social responsibilities, not be bystanders, but to act with courage to create a better world, and change our visions of the future.
For more information, visit rdjgallery.com.