Resistance

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Najee Dorsey’s mixed media series “Resistance,” is an artistic commentary on the various ways individuals have used their voice and bodies to “resist” and fight against the powers that be. Partially inspired by the Occupy Movement, Dorsey’s renditions include the Haitian Freedom Fighter Toussaint L’ouverture, A Native American man taking up modern arms, and an ode to unsung she-ro Claudette Colvin, amongst others. Dorsey also includes various protest signs and anecdotes that feature social commentary about the current economic and social condition in America. Utilizing the digital medium to create these works demonstrate Dorsey’s range as an artist. He is particularly adept at weaving in multiple colors and layers to tell a story both aesthetically and thematically.

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Historian Jelani Cobb reminds us that “nations are narratives,” and as a result the voice of the artist must be included in that narrative in that the artists are commonly referred to as the “freest” people in a society. Najee Dorsey demonstrates that forms of resistance aren’t limited to the canon of protest politics and arms struggle. Dorsey’s work stands in a tradition of using the paintbrush, the can of spray paint, the canvas, and even computer graphics to create images that document, critique, and question why people still find themselves with their backs against the wall. Resistance is as much an art form as it is a political reality and Dorsey’s work says this much and more.”

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