A Visit to Rashid Johnson's studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn

Art Privee
May 24, 2013 7:48PM

–By Linda Fischbach

We recently visited Rashid Johnson's studio in the burgeoning arts community of Bushwick, Brooklyn. In his introduction he told us that his mother was a professor who taught African history, and his parents were very into that culture until he was thirteen when they became extremely middle class. Johnson said, "It was like after you had your Bar Mitzvah, your parents said we are not Jews anymore."In addition to the African influence on his work, texture is a key element for Rashid Johnson. Material is poured onto the surface and then removed to create the forms and texture of his pieces. The artist said, "I want you to want to bite it... It is the visceral action of biting into it." In answer to the question, "When do you know when a work is done?" the artist simply replied, "Very hard to say when it is finished."

The video at right is from Art21's "New York Close Up" series.

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