ONCE YOU GO BARACK…
A giant distended not so subtle phallic piece of art extends across several long walls in a controversial New York Art Show called The Assassination of Barack Obama by artist Yazmany Arboleda. Among the many provocative pieces, “Once You Go Barack”, a twist on the classic line about the virility of black men makes you wonder if it’s the kind of crass line that might be spoken behind the scenes by the media or on the campaign trail.
NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T
Two installations by Yazmany, one called The Assassination of Barack Obama and a sister show called The Assassination of Hillary Clinton opened in Manhattan in late February 2008 in two separate galleries. Shortly thereafter, both galleries shutdown the exhibits due to legal pressure.
ON-LINE GALLERY IS STILL OPEN 24 HOURS A DAY
Even though The Assassination of Barack Obama cannot be viewed in person, you can still view Yazmany’s show on-line at The Assassination of Barack Obama. Another part of the exhibit by Yazmany challenges assumptions with Obama’s biography re-titled The Audacity of Black Hope.
CLEVER, FUNNY OR JUST PLAIN VULGAR
The Assassination of Barack Obama by Yazmany is thought-provoking and especially relevant given the amount of Barack bashing and sniping going on by both the Democrats and Republicans. In a review by Michael Musto of the Village Voice in an article titled Hillary and Barack Have Been Shot! For Photographs and Art Works! Musto reviews the show as having interesting work “dabbling in all the biases and preconceptions about the first serious female and African American Prez campaigners.”
Barack Obama has not even been elected yet and already there has been numerous death threats and assassination attempts but Yazmany points out the very real assassination of character that is going on by our own perceptions, the media’s characterizations of each candidate as well as society as a whole. Deceptively simple in design, using re-appropriated images, in The Assassination of Barack Obama, Yazmany boldly puts forth the very issues at hand faced by the first African American with a real shot at being the first elected black President of the United States.
ABOUT THE ARTIST YAZMANY
While one can easily criticize Yazmany for being attention getting and exploitive for using such provocative show titles as The Assassination of Barack Obama and The Assassination of Hillary Clinton, he probably doesn’t use the term assassination lightly or as a show stopping flip remark without realizing its full implications. The biography on his website indicates his father was assassinated in Columbia, South America. Yazmany currently resides in New York. A graduate of the Architecture program at the Catholic University of America with additional studies in photography, Yazmany supplemented his education with studies at Parsons School of Design and other institutions in Europe.
Prior to The Assassination of Barack Obama, in 2007, Yazmany exhibited “The New Vetruvians” at Tribeca’s Issey Miyake and the Imagination Gallery in London. The Assassination of Hillary Clinton is at the Leah Keller Gallery at 576 West 24th Street in New York City. Call 646.329.6380 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Naomi Gates Gallery
594 West 22nd Street
Virtual Gallery The Assassination of Barack Obama