Wednesday, May 01, 2019

May 2019 Unicorn Of The Month: Tavarus Blackmon aka Blackmonster

Tavarus Blackmon aka Blackmonster, is a Sacramento based artist and a current Graduate Fellow at Headlands Center for the Arts. Blackmonster’s practice comprises painting bold canvases that are full of cultural, societal, and personal notions, and how they relate to larger questions in art movements. He works digitally, creating videos, time-based art, web-based projects, and digital collages and paintings. His work often references art history, particularly the Funk Art movement, which was a prominent artistic style in Northern California in the ‘60s and ‘70s. His conceptual practice also includes a vast collection of sound art and audio based projects.

He recently had a dual show with Kumasi Barnett entitled 
"THE AMAZING BLACK-MAN AND EXQUISITE DIVERSION" at Verge Center for the Arts in Sacramento California. For those of you outside the Sacramento, Northern California region reading this post that were not able to see the show in person, or were unaware of it, you really missed out. It was a visually intense show, and the work of Roy De Forest immediately came to mind. But that is where the similarities for me ended. Imagine if artist from "The Funk Movement " dealt with real shit: police violence, mass shootings, poverty, racism, you know the flip side of the American dream. But it's not all doom and gloom with Blackmon's work. From the large canvases, to the unnerving sounds to the gingerbread-man chalk outlines on the floor, the work teetered right on the edge of playful and " Jesus Christ this guy is DARK!"

His 2018 thesis from The University of California Davis, "The Politics of the Cartoon and Contemporary Art", he investigated the development of Outsider Art through the lens of Funk Art, Chicago-based Imagists, the Hairy Who and German Expressionism. He has exhibited at Shy Rabbit Gallery, Pagosa Springs, CO; The Midway, San Francisco, CA; American Steel Studios, Oakland, CA; The Center for Digital Art, Los Angeles, CA; Arc Gallery, Chicago, IL; FE Gallery, Sacramento, CA; BrickHouse Gallery, Sacramento, CA; the Blue Banana Video Art Festival in Berlin, Germany; and recently at Verge Center for the Arts, Sacramento, CA. He has an upcoming installation at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento for May’s Art Mix and a screening at SoundPedro, Earmaginations Sound Art Festival at the Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro, CA. He is a current Graduate Fellow at Headlands Center for the Arts.

To view more of his work, visit his Website, and his Instagram Page. And check out his manifesto: Black-Monster Review.