Firelei Báez, Those who would douse it (detail), 2015. Courtesy the artist and Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco. Photo: STUDIO LHOOQ.
Tracing the history of social movements in the Unites States and the Caribbean, Bloodlines presents a series of new works by Firelei Báez (b. 1981, Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic; lives in New York) inspired by lineages of black resistance. Best known for her large-scale works on paper, Báez makes connections that further our understanding of diasporic experiences by interweaving the lives of 18th century black women in Louisiana and the Cuban roots of the Latin American azabache, with symbols used in the U.S. during the tumultuous 1960s. Bloodlines showcases paintings and drawings specifically depicting textiles, hair designs, and body ornaments, linking traditionally loaded symbols with individual human gestures. Her works are labor intensive, delicate and rich in color, mostly rendering female subjects and their subjectivities. Her act of overlaying past and potential histories enriches obscured narratives of black experience and resistance, illustrating complex settings where skin tone is no longer a sufficient signifier of race.
Works by the artist
Báez’s new works embody a provocative investigation on decorative elements, textiles, hair designs, and body ornaments that explores methods of resistance in black communities within the United States and the Caribbean.
Pérez Art Museum Miami Opens Firelei Báez’s First Solo Museum Show