Pope.L

American  •  b. 1955

Biography

Pope.L, who calls himself “The Friendliest Black Artist in America©”, is a visual artist and educator whose multidisciplinary practice uses binaries, contraries and preconceived notions embedded within contemporary culture. “At 62, POPE.L is inarguably the greatest performance artist of our time,” Megan O’Grady wrote in The New York Times Style Magazine in March 2018, “This is exactly the kind of label he would find absurd, but over the course of the last four decades, no artist has so consistently broken down the accepted boundaries of the genre in order to bring it closer to the public, with lacerating, perspicacious and gloriously anti-authoritarian projects that play with our received notions of race and class and almost always cut more than one way.”

Building upon his provocative performances and public interventions, Pope.L has applied the same social and formal strategies to painting, photography, performance, video, and installation to probe issues of language, system, class, race and gender. For his RePhotocollage series, Pope.L has manipulated and combined images of body parts to create “figural encounters”. Originating out of the artist’s desire to betray the artist’s hand while simultaneously creating images highly suggestive of the body, these compositions are scanned, flattened and reprinted on single large planes of paper. 

Insights

  • Selected honors: Whitney Museum Bucksbaum Award (2017); Joyce Foundation Award (2012); Tiffany Foundation Award (2007); United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship (2006); Guggenheim Fellowship (2004)

“Like the African shaman who chews his pepper seeds and spits seven times into the air, I believe art re-ritualizes the everyday to reveal something fresh about our lives. This revelation is a vitality and it is a power to change the world."

Recent Pope.L headlines, Powered by Articker

Past Lots

;