I couldn’t help and quote The Beatles… I told myself… This isn’t right, you shouldn’t be doing this… And then I thought, fuck it, I’m a rebel. Let’s do this, because that’s how it works… Life is a long and winding road.
The original inspiration for STRANGE FRUIT comes from the poem written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish high-school teacher from the Bronx that was then turned into a song of the same name popularized by Billie Holiday. While the poem and song refers to the horrors of lynching throughout the United States, particularly in the South, the haunting and brave quality of the poetry, the spareness of the arrangement, and the almost strangled quality of Holiday’s voice singing the song became the inspiration for this exhibition. When I first viewed Andrew Brodhead’s plastic-wrapped bodies hovering over refulgent landscapes, a direct link to the song wasestablished in my mind. I broadened the conceptual basis for the show after gaining a more refined understanding of Andrew’s work and that of the other three artists included in the exhibition. The show serves as a vessel or repository for all sorts of strange, disturbing scenarios – plausible, even possible situations, yet often surreal or at the very least not readily fathomable.
Andrew Brodhead, Ben, 2012. Giclée print, 20” x 30”. Courtesy Andrew Brodhead and RARE Gallery, New York.