Mike's adventures in art: Amoako Boafo, SIX, XO Seattle
If you're looking for tips on how to experience art in the Seattle area, you're in the right place. In this weekly post, KUOW arts reporter Mike Davis has suggestions for what to do around Seattle over the weekend so you can have your own adventures in arts and culture.
"Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks," is showing at the Seattle Art Museum. This is my pick of the week, and this exhibit is stunning. Boafo’s portraits depict the Black gaze in a very unique way. His style of using finger-painting to color the skin creates an element of texture that you have to see in person to truly appreciate. The way he sometimes blends blue into brown skin, or his clever use of red on fingernails, or the inside of the eyes, to draw attention of the viewer is an excellent touch. He is influenced by fashion, and names many of the pieces after handbags or garments that are in the portraits. But, my biggest takeaway from this exhibit are the eyes of his subjects. This work is inspired by the idea of “double consciousness,” in which Black folks have a need to maintain an awareness of their self-identity through the gaze of others. Throughout this exhibit, the subjects in Boafo’s portraits, who are all Black, have a vibrancy in their eyes that you can’t miss. As I moved through the gallery, gazing at the subjects in the paintings, it felt like my stare was returned. As if the portraits were gazing at me!
"Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks," is showing at the Seattle Art Museum until Sept. 10
"SIX The Musical," is showing at the Paramount. This show was a blast! It is more pop concert than story, but it follows the six wives of Henry VIII as they have a contest to determine who had the worst life. The resulting concert features the wives performing songs that tell their stories of marrying the king. It was a spectacle! The smoke, the lights, the live band, and the glittering costumes all came together to create an electric experience. The night I went was sold out, and the crowd was on fire, cheering and dancing. This show is a lot of fun and the actors all had great musical performances.
"SIX The Musical," showing at the Paramount until July 23
XO Seattle, is hosting an event in the old Coliseum Theater downtown. Many Seattleites will recognize this building as the former Banana Republic on Fifth Avenue. But, after XO transforms this space into an art gallery, I suspect that it will be unrecognizable. With the work of about 100 artists filling two floors in this massive space, it will be an arts extravaganza. I had a tour before the art was loaded in and was shocked to see how beautiful the architecture was inside the space with all the retail remnants removed. It was like standing in the Paramount. Now that art will be returning to this space, I’m eager to see the full transformation with art, artists, and art lovers back in the building.
XO Seattle will host events at the Coliseum Theater until Sept. 10