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Calida Rawles: On the Other Side of Everything

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rafa esparza, "Chumash Chair," 2020, South Willard, Los Angeles, CA, photo by Grant Guiterrez, courtesy of the artist.
rafa esparza, "Chumash Chair," 2020, South Willard, Los Angeles, CA, photo by Grant Guiterrez, courtesy of the artist.
Art

Download the Spring 2021 New Era Issue

By Whitewall

April 19, 2021

The beginning of 2021 has had its troubles—some new, some ongoing—but we are beginning to see the light we’ve so desperately been craving. This time last year, we were filled with dread, anxiety, and a paralyzing fear of what the pandemic would bring and how it would affect us. Sure, there’s still plenty of anxiety to go around, but it feels like we know now the challenge we are facing. We’ve lived with it and through it, and we are seeing the art and creative world make the most of it.

That is what we’re celebrating this spring in our first-ever New Era issue. The trials of 2020 have given rise to impassioned causes, reinvigorated practices, and louder calls to action. The pandemic has forced us to address political, social, racial, and environmental issues because life is not carrying on as usual—it can’t. And, as is always the case, artists, designers, and makers are leading the way. 

Last summer, over the July Fourth weekend, rafa esparza and a collective of over 80 artists took part in the public project with artist Cassils “In Plain Sight,” which skytyped messages calling attention to immigrant detention. The Los Angeles–based artist will continue to address America’s culture of incarceration and violence against Black and Brown bodies with a new series of work this spring, while also providing a space for healing and reflection.

This year will mark the physical opening of the Nairobi Contemporary Art Institute (NCAI), facilitated by Michael Armitage. The artist, who splits his time between Kenya and the U.K., is dedicating to growing and preserving the presentation of East African art, all while making new paintings that investigate the political and social histories of contentious landscapes.

Another art space opening has our attention this spring—Superblue in Miami. It is the first location dedicated to supporting and showing experiential art, with the motto “Created by artists, completed by you.” It launches with installations from James Turrell, teamLab, and Es Devlin. The visitor-activated exhibitions address humanity’s relationship with nature, the body, and place. 

Also in this issue, you’ll find leaders in Singapore’s design community like WOHA, EHKA Studio, and Olivia Lee; a new sustainable model for the beauty industry with La Bouche Rouge and in haute couture with The Ethiquette; and disruptors to the typical gallery system in Danny Dunson’s Legacy Brothers Lab and Detroit’s Library Street Collective.

We hope you’re starting to see the possibility of dreaming again, too, like the creatives in these pages. And if not yet, perhaps their words will light the spark you’ve been searching for.

New Era IssueSpring 2021

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