WHAT’S “ALL-AMERICAN”?

– A Black Artist’s Perspective –
A Conversation with Painter Tylonn Sawyer, hosted by Gary Faigin
Thursday, August 20
12:30pm-1:30pm

Tylonn Sawyer, Post Hope, 2018
oil and mixed media on paper 84″ x 50″

When classically trained, Detroit-based painter Tylonn Sawyer paints the American flag, it’s to highlight issues not typically associated with the stars and stripes – racism, police brutality, and the experience of living as an outsider in white society. Tylonn draws freely on politics, pop culture and much earlier Western art, as in his transgressive take on Michelangelo’s Pieta, where instead of Mary cradling the dead Jesus, a Black mother cradles her crumpled son, his hoodie recalling recent shooting victims like Trayvon Martin.  We’ll talk to Tylonn about his flipping familiar imagery on its head to further his expressive program, and what it’s been like to move back from New York to Detroit to be a part of  the burgeoning art scene in his home town. 

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