EXPO CHICAGO, the Magnificent Mile Association and Kavi Gupta Gallery will present a third iteration of “SKIN + MASKS,” co-curated by artist Vic Mensa and Kavi Gupta Gallery director Chanelle Lacy. The group show presents emerging and established Chicago-based contemporary artists at 535 North Michigan through April 15. As part of a continued effort to bring visual art to Michigan Avenue that included Nick Cave and Bob Faust’s “Rapt on the Mile” installation last Fall, The Magnificent Mile Association has partnered with EXPO CHICAGO and Kavi Gupta Gallery. For his curatorial debut, Vic Mensa deploys a text by author Frantz Fanon as a foundation for a group art exhibition aimed at decolonizing art beyond the politics of visibility.
In his 1952 book “Black Skin, White Masks,” Fanon presented “a psychoanalytical tour-de-force, exposing how colonization weaponized skin as an agent of alienation, imposing an existential divide on people. ‘SKIN + MASKS’ features work by artists who, like Fanon, are striving to understand and express the meaning of identity not from the vantage point of white gaze, but from the perspective of individual realities.” Says Mensa in a release, “‘SKIN + MASKS’ is a cultural conversation spanning bandwidth of race, identity and art, created in collaboration with Kavi Gupta Gallery. Since its launch in July, it has seen multiple different iterations, and we are ecstatic to expand it into its next existence as a limited engagement installation on Michigan Avenue.”