Enrico Riley

Enrico Riley

Jules Guerin Rome Prize
September 12, 2016–July 31, 2017
Profession
Artist
Associate Professor, Department of Studio Art, Dartmouth College
Project title
The Black Body as Infinite Receptor
Project description

I see great potential for creative overlap between Judeo-Christian narratives and lived experiences of black bodies today. Numerous individuals in the Bible function as symbol or icon, and consciously or not we relate to aspects of the greater human condition through these individuals and the stories in which they are imbedded. Contrary to the current idea in visual art that each expression must feel totally new, I argue that looking closely at new forms that arise from modern interpretations of deeply entrenched narratives can create unexpected and also radical painterly outcomes. So as the Dadaist, Surrealist and Abstract Expressionist painters used strategies of rebellion against entrenched form to create new painterly outcomes, so am I interested in returning to biblical narratives as a path to comment on present day interpretations of the black body, and to communicate about the vulnerability and suffering of human beings today.