Rashid Johnson, Crosshair Brand, 2011. Painted steel and red oak. Brand 11.5 x 11.5 x 20 inches. Base 1.5 x 15 x 25 inches. Edition of 20 with 3 artist’s proofs.
About the Work
Rashid Johnson‘s work references the new African-American experience, exploring the complexities behind race, class, and cultural identity. Crosshair Brand is a sculpture in two parts that presents a tool Johnson uses to mark the surfaces of many large-scale paintings on red oak, along with a small base also in red oak, and marked in a similar manner. Although the shape of the brands in his paintings may take on many different abstract and representational forms—including circles, diamonds, and palm trees—the crosshair is a recurrent motif throughout his most recent work.
Philip Akkerman, 2009 no. 31, 2009. Oil on panel. Direct Art Collection
Every painting in Philip Akkerman’s vast body of work, which consists of more than 3,000 individual pieces made over the past 30 years, is amazingly a self-portrait. That’s all the artist has painted since he starting his professional career in 1981. The paintings are only made in three small to medium sizes using the Old Masters technique of oil and tempura on prepared panels—a highly conceptual process for such figurative work. Viewing more than 400 of the paintings in the exhibition Akkermania at the Kunsthal Rotterdam, one sees an incredible progression as the artist grew worldlier and his skills increased. The old adage that “practice makes perfect” is rightly visible in his continuously clever work.