18/06/2024 3:40 PM

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Juxtapoz Magazine – The Black House (Payback’s A Bitch): DETOUR Gallery Unveils a New Work by Willie Torbert

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DETOUR Gallery in Red Bank, New Jersey is excited to present artist, Willie Torbert, discussing his most recent work entitled The Black House (Payback’s A B#$ch), 2021. “I think it’s a wake-up call for everybody. Hey, this could be you, kids!,” Torbert told us. “You know… Don’t think you’re on top of the world. Shit can flip, and all of a sudden you’re on the fricken bottom. I just want people to be aware, that- what if it was you?” This Saturday, April 9th, 2022 DETOUR is pleased to host renowned artist, Willie Torbert, to hear him discuss his most recently released artwork. Doors open at 6:00 PM, followed by an Artist’s Talk presentation at 7:00 PM sharp. See the artwork in person and meet the artist! Light refreshments and snacks will be available for guests throughout the night.

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“At the heart of The Black House, is an unusual scene of nobility, beauty, royalty, Black pride, and bloodshed. Folklore artist, Willie Torbert, has created a stunning plantation of angelic pom poms of white cotton. The majesty of a Black gangster president and his queen, who are on a stroll are the center of attention, is an imaginative Afro Futurist narrative of American History, inverted, turned upside down.

Befitting of the Inversion series, by Torbert, The Black House shocks you and crystallizes that looks can be deceiving. Your gaze is set-on the splendor of the landscape and then you start to see, as Torbert, directs your eye through the rows of clean white cotton, that at first camouflages the inhumanity being waged against the White bodies of enslaved people.

The Black House plantation, on a literal tip conjures up Black Like Me, by John Howard Griffen, about a White man who went undercover in the deep South, darkening his skin as a Black man, in 1960.  The question the artist seems to be asking is this: Can White people ever know what it feels like to be Black in America?  

The pain inflicted on the White slaves, in this rendering, by the ruling class of Black nobility and elite is and of itself, futuristic, yet, not cut from the same cloth as a Black Panther Wakanda forever moment.  Torbert makes you see the dearth of Black existence on the naked bodies of White people, hung out to dry like curing meat.

What if. . . “ Written by Gilda Rogers | Executive Director – T. Thomas Fortune Foundation & Cultural Center, Red Bank, NJ



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