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A REVIEW OF THE WEEK’S NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS IN THE ART WORLD Featuring Afropunk portraits, Kara Walker, Rashaad Newsome and more

Vogue Publishes Afropunk Hair Portraits by Awol Erizku
Vogue.com dispatched Awol Erizku to the 10th annual Afropunk Festival in Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn to document the fabulous, natural and architectural hairstyles on parade. Captured on Aug. 24, his 28 photographs (shown above) are the ultimate mix of art, punk, fashion and festival flair.

“I think [black hair] is beautiful because it can be shaped, shaved, cut, whatever. That’s what I was trying to find today—people who had that kind of hair and who embraced it and were proud of it.”
— Awol Erizku, Vogue

Ethiopian-born and New York-based, Erizku works in photography, as well as sculpture and video installation. His recent exhibition, “The Only Way is Up,” was on view at Hasted Kraeutler from June 19 to Aug. 15, 2014.

Catholics Protest Display of Andres Serrano’s ‘Piss Christ’
Some people are not fans of mixing religious iconography with bodily fluids. New York-based artist Andres Serrano’s 1987 photograph “Piss Christ” has stirred new controversy. The provocative work has been on view at Musée Fesch in Corsica, France, since June 27, included in a solo show of more than 120 works by Serrano. The Art Newspaper reports that about 50 protestors, members of the Catholic group Cristiani Corsi, gathered outside the museum on Aug. 26 calling for its removal. “Piss Christ” captures a crucifix submerged in what is apparently urine and over the past 25 years, its display has prompted public outcries, threats, vandalism and derision from elected officials. The exhibition is on view at the museum through Sept. 29, 2014.

Andre 3000 Has Been ‘Drawing and Painting’
The more stylishly experimental half of Outkast, Andre 3000 tells the New York Times he has been expressing himself visually lately. Eight years have passed since the hip hop duo put out an album, but Andre Benjamin (his given name) has kept himself busy, being an active father and keeping his creative juices flowing. “I write ideas, I write thoughts. Melodies come more for me than raps. I sit in my house and just play. I’ve been drawing and painting a lot more. I’ve always drawn costumes, things I was going to wear onstage,” Benjamin tells Jon Caramanica in a short feature accompanied by a lengthy Q&A. “Seven [his son] and I hate folding clothes, so we’d always take all of our clean clothes and just put ’em on the table. One day, I was like, ‘Man, we living like college students.’ I got so fed up with [the mess]. I drew it. [He pulls out iPhone and flips through some sketches.] I see me moving into a visual space.” Many musicians and actors have fancied themselves visual artists. But when asked, Benjamin says he has no plans for a gallery show. In the meantime, he is on the road with Big Boi performing celebratory gigs at music festivals to mark the 20th anniversary of their debut album and next month, Benjamin will star in the film “Jimi: All is By My Side,” a biopic about the legendary Jimi Hendrix.

Kara Walker Reflects on How She Made It
After two decades, Kara Walker has finally accepted the fact that she is an incredibly successful artist. In a new video released by ART21, she reflects on her career, which caught fire after she participated in a group show at The Drawing Center. She was just 24 and still living in Rhode Island where she attended RISD. She says she barely knew herself then and held off on moving to New York until she felt she was ready. “Kara Walker: Starting Out” shows the artist installing her 2013 exhibition at Sikkema Jenkins Gallery, and with her mother earlier this year visiting Frieze NY where the gallery featured her work. Walker notes that when she started teaching at Columbia University more than a dozen years ago, it was awkward because she was almost the same age as the students.

“I don’t think i wanted to have the role that I was hired for, which was a successful artist that was successsful at a young age telling people how to get what I got. But I think I just accepted it this year. I must know something, it’s been 20 years.” — Kara Walker, ART21

Now Walker is telling her students, the next generation of artists, that they will change the art world, which she describes as very different than the one she stepped into: it’s bigger, there’s is less emphasis on the creative process and more “pressure to conform to a particular grad school pedigree,” leaving artists saddled with enormous debt from MFA programs.

Rashaad Newsome Hosted Another Art Ball
Riverside Park in New York was live and bumping on Sunday, Aug. 24, when Rashaad Newsom hosted the second edition of his King of Arms Art Ball, a mashup of art, fashion and competitive vogueing. Photos from ball are featured at Paper Magazine, Blouin Artinfo, the New York Times photo diary and on the event’s Facebook page. Newsome, whose work appears in the Brooklyn Museum’s “Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe” exhibition opening Sept. 10, has a busy schedule in the coming months, as reported by artnet News CT

TOP IMAGES: Afropunk Hair Portraits by Artist Awol Erizku for Vogue USA