Luce Gallery presents Won’t You Celebrate with Me, the New York City solo show debut by Afro-Brazilian visual artist Zéh Palito curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, from May 19 to June 10, 2023.
The exhibition is a clarion call by Palito, inspired by the legendary Baltimore poet Lucille Clifton’s poem of the same name. A response to the rhythm and urgency of Clifton’s poem, Palito’s exhibition of works captures the essence of Black life in respite, at ease, and at peace through vivid dreamscapes. Won’t You Celebrate with Me invites us to reflect on the resilience of Black people across the diaspora.
Palito honed his visual lexicon in the streets of São Paulo as a muralist creating larger-than-life artworks in his signature pinks and yellows. Utilizing public space as his studio and the walls of buildings around São Paulo as his canvas, Palito developed an adroit facility to situate his subject in scenes that articulate Black joy and subvert the oppressive visual language that does seek to uplift Black people. A visual language amplified by traditional and social media that has plagued Black people for centuries depicting them as lazy, unsophisticated, violent, and inhuman. Palito has cultivated a practice that centers Black voices and ruptures traditional stereotypes associated with their bodies, particularly in leisure spaces. By tapping into the Black collective consciousness, Palito shares his view on the Black reality in its fullness – loving, complex, happy, and in community with each other.
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