Mana Contemporary and the Ayn Foundation are pleased to present Rammellzee’s ten-part “resin fresco” installation "The Private Collection of the Magistrate" (1982). The work was originally made by the late Afrofuturist visionary for his exhibition at New York’s Gallozzi-La Placa Gallery, and this will be its first public showing since its 1982 debut.
Rammellzee (1960–2010) began his artistic practice in the mid-1970s as a teenage graffiti writer on the New York City subway, becoming part of the emergent street culture of hip-hop, which also incorporated rap and breakdancing. It was primarily through graffiti tagging that Rammellzee aimed to empower those who had traditionally been ignored.
In 1979, the artist published "IONIC TREATISE: GOTHIC FUTURISM," which outlines a new “wild style” alphabet- ic system derived from gothic lettering. Inspired by an order of medieval monks whose mission was to subvert the hierarchy of those seeking to control language, Rammellzee’s text similarly attempts to democratize the process of communication.
Inside each of "The Private Collection’"s ten cases is one letter of the word magistrate, written in Rammellzee’s own script. The artist describes these letters as having been “dropped from hell—the one place God cannot go.”
Located in the hallway outside the gallery is Rammellzee’s "Mettropposttsizzer Gothicure 107 Hits Light Speed to Break it Down" (1982), which was first exhibited in "Future Futurism" at New York’s Barbara Braathen Gallery in 1986.