Artist Chris Friday’s Narcissist is a large-scale, free-standing metal figure that appears to be captivated by its own reflection in the waters of the Museum's fountain, seemingly oblivious to the gaze of onlookers. Narcissist symbolizes Black art that is concerned with itself; celebrating its own inherent beauty and essence, without exposing deeper emotions or meanings, especially when placed in a public contemporary art space.
FROM THE CURATOR
Using a style the artist calls “chalkboard” Chris Friday creates large scale drawings that consider Black figures in moments of leisure, play and slumber. Desiring to reimagine how the Black body is engaged within the context of display in institutional spaces, she creates moments that range from joyful to tender. Finding that Black art has historically been focused on how the viewer thinks or what they can be taught, in Narcissist Friday positions a work and a subject that is wholly self-absorbed. Draped across the Museum’s pond, the figure is both a study of introspection and a call to action. Following the artist’s long history of word play, the work’s title seeks to take the negative connotations of narcissism and spins it as an intentional and necessary part of self-reflection that are vital to emotional growth and self-care. Narcissist encourages the kind of selfishness that is necessary during times of rest and restoration. Often women and especially Black women take on excess tasks at work and in the home exerting emotional energy that leaves one depleted. With this work, a stark contrast to that notion, Friday creates an oversized visual beacon for one to take up space and rest.
SOBRE EL ARTISTA
Chris Friday is a multidisciplinary artist based in Miami, Fl, whose work offers itself as both a contemplative reflection of and counter-narrative to the pervasive under/misrepresentations of Blackness in mainstream media and popular culture. Her portfolio features large-scale works on paper, murals, video, ceramics, projections, photography, comic illustrations, and social practice/activism through curating.
Friday’s work has been included in exhibitions locally, nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include solos “Good Times” curated by Laura Novoa and presented at Oolite Arts, (2023), “One More River”, presented at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee and group show “The Cartography Project” presented by the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (2022).
The artist has received numerous awards, fellowships and grants, including a Knight Foundation “Knights Champion” grant (2022) , a “The Ellies” Creator award from Oolite Arts (2021), The GMBCV People's Choice award in Miami Beach's No Vacancy juried art show (2021) and residencies with MassMoCA (2023), Anderson Ranch Arts Center (2022), and the Visual Arts Residency at Chautauqua Institute (2019).
Chris Friday is currently a resident studio artist at Oolite Arts in Miami, Florida and an adjunct professor at the New World School of the Arts.