21c Oklahoma City Presents 'Pop Stars! Popular Culture And Contemporary Art'

21c Oklahoma City Presents 'Pop Stars! Popular Culture And Contemporary Art'Opening on Thursday, April 26 with a special lecture by featured artist Fahamu Pecou, Pop Stars! Popular Culture and Contemporary Art demonstrates the dominance of the popular as today's ubiquitous culture and illuminates the intersection of the sacred and the secular in multimedia depictions of who and what we worship today.

Superheroes and celebrities, totems and toys: the imagery of manufactured fantasy is reframed in the visual language of historical iconography in this global exploration of popular culture today. As the real and the virtual increasingly collide, boundaries between art and media further blur, inspiring new mythologies realized in new materials: stars of stage, screen, and sport are re-envisioned, offering insight into how desire shapes identity. Appropriating images and practices from commerce, science, politics, religion, sports, and technology, these artists illuminate recent shifts in how culture is being created and consumed.

"Heading deeper into the digital age, popular culture is increasingly generated and experienced via the internet, which is quickly evolving into the predominant determinant of what and who is valued and represented," says Chief Curator Alice Gray Stites. "In constant contact and communication through handheld devices, we have unprecedented access to an audience of one's own, and seek affirmation online."

Exhibition highlights include:

Derrick Adams' Floater series employs the flat, saturated colors of Pop Art, mixing the aesthetics of advertising and portraiture to illustrate black subjects at leisure-a topic rarely depicted in art history or commercial reproduction.

Brian Paumier's multi-part Act of Faith was inspired by a promise Paumier made to the Virgin of Guadalupe, asking for her protection and pledging to create an altarpiece in her honor-a practice derived from the religious and folkloric traditions of his Mexican-American community.

Fahamu Pecou's Broken Open belongs to a series of paintings inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement. A self-portrait of the artist partially covered in gold paint, the figure embodies both celebration and despair, triumph and trauma, subverting and re-envisioning the performance and representation of black masculinity.

Deborah Roberts' collages of young black girls are in part a response to the lack of advertisements and television shows featuring black females. Her polymorphic figures suggest a multiplicity of identities: young girls and women who are simultaneously defiant, innocent, kinetic, and incendiary.

Participating artists include: Derrick Adams, Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou, Carlos Aires, Lisa Alonzo, Katie Armstrong, Felipe Barbosa, Sanford Biggers, Olivier Blanckart, Djawid C. Borower, Mark Bradford, Slater Bradley, Matthew Brandt, Rebecca Campbell, Nick Cave, Shamus Clisset, The Connor Brothers, Jeremy Dean, Fabian Debora, Alain Declercq, Sebastian Denz, Graham Dolphin, Elena Dorfman, R. Luke DuBois, Adriana Duque, Adrián Fernández, Frances Goodman, Alexandra Gorczynski, Derek Gores, Greg Gossel, Marco Grassi, Wang Guangyi, Roberto Guerrero, Hassan Hajjaj, David Herbert, Levente Herman, Jacob Heustis, Van Hoang, Andy Diaz Hope, Titus Kaphar, Oliver Laric, Alexandre Mazza, Ryan McGinness, Katie Miller, Simon Moretti, Laurel Nakadate, Amy O'Neill, Brian Paumier, Fahamu Pecou, Bruno Peinado, Allie Pohl, Wang Qingsong, Ryder Ripps, Deborah Roberts, David Scheinmann, Robert Silvers, Hank Willis Thomas, Mickalene Thomas, Marco Veronese, Dietrich Wegner, Kehinde Wiley, and Robert Wilson.

21c Museum is a multi-venue museum located in eight cities throughout the country. One of the largest contemporary art museums in the U.S., and North America's only collecting museum dedicated solely to art of the 21st century, each venue features exhibits that are open free of charge to the public, combined with a boutique hotel and chef-driven restaurant. 21c was founded in 2006 by Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, philanthropists, preservationists, and collectors who are committed to expanding access to contemporary art as a means of catalyzing urban revitalization and civic connection. 21c presents a range of exhibitions and arts programming curated by Museum Director, Chief Curator Alice Gray Stites. These include both solo and group exhibitions that reflect the global nature of art today, as well as site-specific, commissioned installations, and a wide variety of cultural programs. 21c collaborates on arts initiatives with artists and organizations worldwide, including North Carolina Museum of Art, MASS MoCA, Contemporary Art Museum Houston, The Barnes Foundation, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Creative Capital Foundation, Creative Time, and others. Connect with us @21cHotels or #21cMuseumHotel.

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