Aziza Claudia Gibson Hunter
August 24, 2019 – October 6th, 2019
Exhibition Reception: September 7th, 2019, 2-4PM
“Occupational Hazards”, created in 2014-2015, was born from the indignity of living in a city in the process of being “gentrified”.
In these works, construction materials were interlaced with layered patterns and text. Images of segmented cranes with repetitive triangles interrupt the patterned rhythms of city life. TYVECK, roofing material, drywall mesh, reflector tape, and temporary fencing are both media and message.
Targets shaped like black birds are a metaphor for a people that continue regardless of the manipulation of drugs, guns and poverty to dislodge them. The compositions of these works are without a square or rectangular perimeter, a reference to the tenacious boundlessness of a community, though under siege. Collage is used to express both the shearing and erection of structures and community. This process also encompasses tearing, fitting together gluing, shifting, tacking; all of what can be experienced on a grand scale in a gentrifying environment. Assemblage gave me the opportunity to include found objects that bare witness.
Neighbors are rendered both wide eyed, and betrayed by buildings that have seemingly sprung up overnight, testing their memory of erased structures. Still other buildings have been remodeled, stripped to exposed brick walls, accented by recessed lighting, and retrofitted with magnificent kitchens set in airy floor plans.
There is something beautiful in the “new”, and the renovated that can seduce. The seduction inhibits both the powerful and vulnerable, from recognizing gentrification as a exceptionally brutal form of economic violence which also undermines a sense of culture and place for generations to come.
“Aziza” Claudia Gibson-Hunter was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She received her BS from Temple University, and her MFA from Howard University. After relocating to New York, she attended Bob Blackburn’s Printmaking Studio, the Arts Students League, and later received a fellowship from the Bronx Museum of Art. She joined “Where We At,” a Black women’s artists group in the early 1980’s. In 1987, she returned to Washington DC and in 1999, joined the Howard University Department of Fine Arts faculty. She continued her studies at the Canadian School for Non Toxic Printmaking.
Since 2005, her emphasis has been multi-media works on paper. Ms. Gibson-Hunter has exhibited nationally, and internationally. Aziza is a co-founding member of Black Artists of DC. In 2014, 2006 and 2018, Ms. Gibson-Hunter was awarded the prestigious Individual Artist Fellowship Program Grant, from the DC Commission of the Arts and Humanities, Her work is included in the Washington DC Art Bank, the John A. Wilson Building Permanent Art collection, the Washintonian collection, the Liberian Embassy art collection, the Montgomery County Works on Paper collection, ISCI permanent collection, and other notable collections. In 2017, she completed Wall of Unity, a public art commission for the Ron Brown College Preparatory High School. In 2019, Aziza was a Pyramid Atlantic Denbo Fellow. Ms. Gibson-Hunter has a studio in Washington DC.
To learn more about Aziza, please visit her website at http://gibsonhunterstudio.com/