James Kalm interview with Steve Cannon at A Gathering of the Tribes (aka) Tribes
Gregory Coates virtually introduced me to A Gathering of the Tribes (Tribes) which is an arts and cultural organization on the lower east side dedicated to excellence in the arts from a diverse perspective. Steve Cannon, poet, playwright, novelist, and retired professor from the City University of New York, converted a portion of his apartment into an informal salon in 1991 wher he has nurtured creative visual, performing and literary talent by encouraging an open exchange of alternative points of view traditionally overlooked by mainstream media. The ideas raised in the discussions in this underground artists' community have served as inspiration to the pieces published in A Gathering of the Tribes Magazine.
In 1993 Dora Espinoza, a Peruvian photographer launched Tribes Gallery. Since then, Tribes has evolved into a performance venue and meeting place for artists and audiences to come together across all artistic disciplines, all levels of complexity, and all definitions of difference. This pan-disciplinary, multi-cultural environment is a place wher artists exchange ideas, create peer relationships and find mentorship. Tribes’ publications offer readers a synthesis of literature, visual art, criticism and interviews with promising artists of all kinds. In an attempt to attract a wider audience for these artists, Tribes additionally organizes an annual outdoor event — Charlie Parker Jazz Festival— to engage members of the community who have seldom, if ever, attended literary or artistic events.
“IZM” Works by HiCoup Currently at A Gathering of the Tribes Gallery 285 East 3rd St., 2nd Floor, NYC curated by Justina Mejias June 19-July 31
Opening reception 6-9pm, Thurs. June 19, 2008
Racism. Sexism. Alcoholism. Hedonism. Opportunism. Nationalism…
Deconstructing the different “isms” that pervade society, hip-hop emcee and visual artist HiCoup (Kaiku) presents a mixed media abstract impressionist rendering of the societal influences that bombard us from conception forward. “IZM” is an artistic exploration of the landscape of humanity through it’s conditioning both conscious and subconscious.
The exhibit features both found items (Doors, specifically) as well as figurative works in more traditional manifestations echoing a microcosm of similar examination. Doors become the center-piece because of their three-dimensional ability to create the metaphoric body. Also chosen for their utilitarian, universal qualities, they evoke a personal relevance to those who stand before them. The viewer is invited to create their own narrative through the lens of their own “IZMS” as we are all casualties of society's influence. Combing graffiti art, cartoonist comic book-like drawings, with a suggestion of Basquiat/Pollock-like technique, the works display an array of color palates, displaced anatomy, random text, and variety of emotionally charged reckless and intentional “spatterings.”
HiCoup is a hip-hop emcee and visual artist hailing from New Jersey. He received a BFA in Art from Jersey City University with a concentration in Painting & Drawing. He has participated in both group and solo shows at many local galleries including the DBC Gallery in NYC and Iandor Fine Arts Gallery in Newark. An acclaimed emerging rapper, he has performed with such veterans as Ludacris, Dead Prez, Mos Def, Bootcamp Click, and Wu Tang Clan.