Sun, Sept. 19, 2021
Where there is power: Celebrating Asif
Moderated by: René Morales
Join us for a virtual conversation that brings together intimate perspectives on the life and work of Asif Farooq on the occasion of the artist’s birthday and the closing of the exhibition Where there is power.
Over the course of more than eight years, Asif worked to recreate an entire Soviet-era MiG-21 jet fighter in true scale, wholly out of paper. The artist was uncompromising in this endeavor. From the plane’s distinctive delta-shaped wings and pencil-like nose cone to the elaborate assortment of gauges, levers, consoles, and switches of its cockpit panel, he crafted every aspect, down to the smallest detail, with meticulous authenticity.
Upon the artist’s death in 2020, the plane was approximately 85% completed. It sits today in a warehouse space in unincorporated west Dade, where Asif’s studio team continues the project while working to preserve his artistic legacy.
About the Panelists
Erica Mohan is a visual artist whose work explores her understanding of martial arts principles and currently focuses on investigating her cultural heritage and ancestry. Born in Toronto, Canada, she migrated to the US with her family in 2000. Her work has been exhibited at the Hollywood Art & Culture Center in 2018. She was the first fellowship recipient for the Girls’ Club private collection in Fort Lauderdale. For two and a half years, she was the Shop Superintendent for Miami-based artist, Asif Farooq, who was building a life-sized Soviet jetfighter made entirely out of paper. Currently, Mohan works as a Grants Management Specialist for the Broward County Cultural Division where she creates and facilitates grant programs for individual artists of all disciplines. She is also a member of the national Grantmakers in the Arts, Support for Individual Artists Committee. Mohan obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from Florida Atlantic University in 2014.
Rob Goyanes is a writer and editor from Miami, Florida. In 2014 he started working on a book about Asif Farooq and his paper sculpture of a Soviet jet fighter. Hundreds of hours were spent with Asif, and interviews with the diverse community surrounding the artwork will form a sprawling oral history. The book twirls various literary modes to explore memory, the sublime, global immigration, grief, friendship, post-Cold War history, and other subjects. It follows Asif’s incredible journey through the opioid crisis, recovery, and the Southern, tropical underbelly of the art world, documenting his creation of what is perhaps the most unbelievable artwork in Miami’s history. Goyanes’s writing has appeared in many places, including Art in America, BOMB, e-flux journal, Jewish Currents, and The Miami Herald.
Sterling Rook was born and raised in Miami, Florida and holds and Masters in Fine Arts. Rook alsoreceived his Bachelors in Fine Arts from Florida International University where he and Asif Farooq struck a friendship in Installation Art class. Rook is a first generation native to Miami and the US, born to a Peruvian mother and British father–a fact which plays an important role for Rook as an artist. He is currently a resident artist at The Bakehouse Art Complex and recently completed a residency at The Deering Estate. Recently, he participated in the City of Miami Beach’s No Vacancy juried show, which was covered by The New York Times. He is also a 2019 Knight Arts Challenge recipient. Currently, Rook lives in Biscayne Gardens, Florida and is preparing for solo show at the Tanya Brillembourg Gallery.
Ann Strain is an artist and fabricator based in Miami, Florida. She received her training in painting and sculpture in the studio of artist Jean Gutierrez in her hometown of Greenwood, Mississippi. Since 2015 she has worked alongside late artist Asif Farooq on his large-scale paper airplane project, Balalaika. She is currently managing Farooq’s studio on behalf of his estate and family.
Sun, Sep. 19, 2021
6—7 p.m. ET