January 4, 2023
Oolite Arts presents “Good Times,” a solo show by Artist Chris Friday
Opening Jan. 18, Friday’s exhibition rethinks the depiction of Black bodies
(MIAMI) Jan. 4, 2023 – In her solo exhibition at Oolite Arts, Chris Friday continues her exploration of the depiction of Black bodies and their presence or absence in contemporary space.
Before 2020, Friday’s artwork was an expression of her own willingness to directly address and have conversations around systemic issues facing Black communities. However, after the murder of George Floyd and the public nature of his death, Friday and her figures turned inward.
In “Good Times,” a reference to the popular 1970s sitcom, Friday sources personal narratives, expressions of popular culture, and communal rituals to present broader and more nuanced understandings of blackness and Black life. Large-scale drawings depict Black bodies at leisure – playing, dancing, resting. Simultaneously, the figures turn slightly away from the viewer, keeping part of themselves hidden, rejecting full disclosure in this age of assumed access.
In the exhibition, Friday investigates the conflicting duality of mediated depictions of Black life by proposing a more personal and nuanced version of the good times. Her subjects are depicted separate from the context of the moment in which they exist, further obscuring any preconceived notions the viewer may hold.
Whether they are jumping rope, cutting a rug, or curled up on their side Friday’s work straddles the line between the quotidian and ceremonial aspects of Black social life.
“You don’t know if the figures are dancing at a nightclub, or are catching the Holy Ghost at church,” Friday said. “I wanted to make a space for both contemplation and celebration, without needing to make that distinction obvious to the viewer.”
View “Good Times” at an opening reception from 7 – 9 p.m. Jan. 18 at Oolite Arts, 924 Lincoln Road. The exhibition will be on display through April 2, 2023.
About Chris Friday
A resident at Oolite Arts, Friday is a South Florida-based, multidisciplinary artist. She has exhibited and curated extensively in Miami, as well as nationally and internationally. Most notably, her work was a part of The Cartography Project presented by the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC, 2022), Yard Sale x Lucy St., an exhibition and interactive shop presented by The Wolfsonian as a part of the Open House program (Miami Beach, FL, 2021), and “#WhoOwnsBlackArt?” presented by Zeal Press at Muce 305 (Miami, FL, 2019). Friday received a Master of Fine Arts degree (2020), and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from New World School of the Arts (2015), where she is an adjunct professor.
About Curator Laura Novoa
Novoa is a curator and arts administrator based in Miami. She works as assistant director of programs + community engagement at the Bakehouse Art Complex, where she is responsible for managing the studio residency, organizing and implementing public and exhibition-related programming, and facilitating educational initiatives and community partnerships. Recently, she curated New Topographies: 25.7617° N, 80.1918 W°, a multi-site installation by Gabriela Gamboa (2022), and co-curated A Landscape Longed for: The garden as disturbance with Adler Guerrier (2021) and Viewpoints: Expressions of an artist community with Edouard Duval-Carrie (2021), among other exhibitions.
About Oolite Arts
Oolite Arts strives to empower South Florida-based artists and enrich communities. Established in 1984, Oolite’s mission is to support artists and advance the knowledge and practice of contemporary visual arts. Oolite Arts creates opportunities for experimentation and innovation and encourages the exchange of ideas across diverse cultures through residencies, exhibitions, public programs, education and outreach.
Exhibitions and programs at Oolite Arts are made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council; the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; the City of Miami Beach, Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Jorge M. Perez Family Foundation at the Miami Foundation; the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Family Foundation; and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
For more information, visit oolitearts.org. Follow @oolitearts on social media.
Contact: Rachel Pinzur, PinzurPR, [email protected]