Aldrich to open new exhibit exploring police violence
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum will present “Rudy Shepherd: Somebody’s Child,” an exhibition that includes 25 watercolors chosen from Shepherd’s ongoing “Portrait” series that depicts victims of police violence from July 18 through Nov. 29.
As part of the exhibit the Aldrich will present Shepherd’s 2016 live performance, “Induction Ceremony” to accompany the exhibit.
The Black Lives Matter movement has gained more traction in recent months calling for change and an end to racial injustice. In a press release from the Aldrich it explained that Shepherd’s installation mourns and humanizes the tragic loss of POC lives and works to raise awareness of systemic racial inequality and historic police brutality.
Shepherd has been working on his “Portraits” series since 2007. The Aldrich’s release explained that Shepherd’s earliest portraits portrayed Black men accused of crimes, but not yet convicted, and prejudicially villainized by the press. As the series grew in scope and scale, Shepherd widened its focus to include luminaries, visionaries, terrorists, spiritualists, victims and their perpetrators.
Shepherd’s “Portrait” series currently includes more than 400 works, created as uniform 12 by 9 inch pieces. Each of Shepherd’s portraits is made within days of the media’s reporting, eliciting an emotional response that establishes compassion by “reclaiming victims’ humanity.”
The Aldrich said Shepherd paints his portraits with watercolor because it is “a medium that best matches the fleetingness of the news cycle, their individual presence embodies an arresting stillness.”
The museum will be producing a poster of the exhibition and will be donating 100 percent of the proceeds to Color of Change, a civil right advocacy nonprofit.
For more information about the exhibit, visit aldrichart.org.