Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties, Brooklyn Museum, 2014
About Benny Andrews
Benny Andrews’s narrative paintings tell poignant stories of social injustice. Inspired by his youth in the segregated American South, Andrews created a body of work depicting scenes from the Civil Rights movement, American Indian relocation, antiwar protests, and other cultural struggles. A self-described “people’s painter,” his overt political series are punctuated by paintings of everyday people and moments, encapsulating an expression of the human condition in times of conflict. He sought to convey authenticity of emotion by employing a painterly style reminiscent of folk art, often incorporating collaged elements pulled from daily life. “I started working with collage because I found oil paint so sophisticated, and I didn’t want to lose my sense of rawness,” Andrews said.