LESTER JULIAN MERRIWEATHER: HYDRA
The Red Arrow Gallery / 919 Gallatin Ave., #4 March 10, 2018 - April 8, 2018
Lester Julian Merriweather
Lester Julian Merriweather produces work in a variety of scales and media by employing photographic imagery and placing cut paper sourced from magazine advertisements he’s collected for over 16 years, onto painted canvases.
Merriweather addresses the materialism of modern life by integrating the perspective of the Black imagination. Using images from luxury ads, he references the historical context in which our material-obsessed culture originated by using collage as a recognizable genre. To further develop the concept, Merriweather creates contemporary versions of imagined mythological scenes. In the works on view in HYDRA, ships sail over oceans and interact with remnants cut from The VANILLA EXTRACT© Series, challenging viewers to connect contemporary capitalism with the colonial conquests of long ago through the lens of Afro-Futurism.
HYDRA is defined in the same way that the creatures of the same name were defined in Greek mythology: monstrous sea-borne creatures having several heads and/or limbs; able to regenerate when cut off. HYDRA is a metaphor for the way the ideas of supremacy work within the constructs of advertisement media and the collection contains works based on the juxtaposition of mythological and pop-cultural references titled #ThoseMonstersProducedByReasonableSleep. The series #ThoseMonstersProducedByReasonableSleep works to visually define the endemic nature of racial bias by showing the ubiquitous approach media corporations use when selecting Caucasian models for advertisement and general photographic projects. Those selected models morph into “Those Monsters”.
Lester Julian Merriweather attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Jackson State University and an MFA from Memphis College of Art. Merriweather previously exhibited in Nashville in the 2017 exhibition, Art of the South and hosted a 2014 solo exhibition at Seed Space titled Eventually the Pendulum Swings. This is his first exhibition with Red Arrow Gallery.