Actress Tonya Pinkins & Art Historian Sherry Turner DeCarava Present THE SWEET FLYPAPER OF LIFE At Brooklyn Museum
The voices of Sister Mary Bradley and The Sweet Flypaper of Life, the 1955 bestseller by photographer Roy DeCarava and poet Langston Hughes, come alive when actress Tonya Pinkins takes guests on a journey through daily moments in Harlem on Thursday, November 8, 7:00-9:00 pm, at Brooklyn Talks: The Sweet Flypaper of Life with Sherry Turner DeCarava at the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY.
Turner DeCarava, publisher and art historian, will introduce the reading by Tonya Pinkins along with images from the book, followed by a conversation with Ms. Pinkins on the role of arts in culture. The event is held in conjunction with the Brooklyn Museum's exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, which runs through February 3, 2019.
The Sweet Flypaper of Life, re-published by First Print Press and distributed by David Zwirner Books and D.A.P., is a moving, photo-poetic work about people, promise and peril in Harlem. In 1952, DeCarava won a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. With the modest financial support of the one-year grant, DeCarava compiled 141 images of Harlem life he had been making since the mid-1940's. Langston Hughes supplied a fictive narration from the perspective of a Harlem resident (Sister Mary Bradley), who leads the reader through her reflections on life in that city-within-a-city.
The book features a number of wonderful, enduring voices and images: from an inscrutable but proud boy, David, poised against a traffic light, to kids cooling off with the water spray from a fire hydrant; from a father holding his two children while he's in deep conversation, to the tightly framed image of a preacher's tambourine and drum in search of its next opportunity to give the daily music for spirit seekers. In the decades since its first publication, The Sweet Flypaper of Life has continued to speak to generations of Americans who share the value in its inclusive story and collaborative design.
Tonya Pinkins is a television, film and theater actress, well known for her long-time portrayal of Livia Frye on the hit soap opera All My Children. Over the years, her work has been recognized with Tony, Obie, Lortel, Drama Desk, Critics Circle and other coveted awards. She won her Tony Award for her performance as Sweet Anita in the Broadway hit, Jelly's Last Jam. She was also a favorite in Play On!, Caroline, Or Change, Merrily We Roll Along, Radio Golf, House of Flowers, A Time to Kill, Holler If Ya Hear Me and The Winter's Tale, among others. Her prolific television career includes appearances in Army Wives, 24, Law & Order, The Cosby Show, Cold Case, Criminal Minds, The Guardian, Fear the Walking Dead and many more.
December 9, 2019 marks the Centennial of the Harlem-born, New York-based artist/photographer Roy DeCarava (pronounced: Dee-cah-rah-vah) (1919-2009). The first African-American photographer to win the prestigious Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship award, DeCarava's wide-ranging expressive and iconic explorations of American life - photographic meditations on human and civic relationships, incisive studies of individuals in urban grounds, landscapes, abstractions and images of key creative moments in the lives of jazz musicians - made him one of the most widely accomplished photographic artists of the modern American era.
Other in-depth exhibitions of DeCarava's work, slated through 2019, are planned around similar and expanded themes and will be hosted by a variety of venues, including the Broad Museum in Los Angeles and the David Zwirner Gallery in New York. These Centennial events include public seminars, talks and readings, musical performances, and multi-media exhibitions whose program details are forthcoming. The first solo DeCarava exhibition in the Centennial Series will open in California early next year.
Tickets to Brooklyn Talks: The Sweet Flypaper of Life with Sherry Turner DeCarava at the Brooklyn Museum on November 8 are $16, including Museum admission, ($14 for members) and are available at https://www.showclix.com/event/brooklyn-talks-sherry-turner-decarava/listing.
For more information on the Roy DeCarava Centennial Celebration curated by The Roy and Sherry DeCarava Archives and First Print Press, please log on to www.decarava.org.