Gallatin Galleries, the exhibition space in NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, presents In Loving Memory, a solo show featuring the work of Khidr Joseph, a Brooklyn-based artist known for his street art and self-portraits. The exhibition is free and runs Feb. 1—29, 2024.
Through photography, canvas prints and sculpture, In Loving Memory focuses on Joseph’s grandfather’s decision to enlist in the Army and serve in the Vietnam War. While in Vietnam, Jerome Cleveland Hilton became addicted to drugs and later was seriously wounded. Five years after his discharge, in an effort to get drugs, Hilton was involved in an armed robbery. He was convicted, and sent to prison.
Joseph explores his grandfather’s choices and experiences, and traces their effect on subsequent generations, including their influence on him, his father, and his siblings. The works blend symbols of patriotism and war with self-portraits, creating commentary that is simultaneously intimate and universal.
“The exhibition is about the legacy of his grandfather, and the impact his experiences had on his father and family,” Gallatin Galleries Curator Keith Miller explains. “It addresses issues of race, class, gender, and trauma from a personal point of view, but in a way that feels of the moment and not in a way that feels like you’re taking medicine.”
Joseph earned a BFA in photography, and he draws on this training to create public art that engages Black history and culture. Among his most recognized work is the “Teach Your Son” series examining masculinity from a feminist perspective. Posters in his Bed-Stuy neighborhood advise the public to “Teach Your Son …” how to ask for help, how to iron, and how to do laundry. Another shows a menstrual cup next to the phrase “Teach Your Son What This Is.”
The artist’s work—including the pieces in this show—tackles serious subjects in an accessible, sincere manner, Miller says.
“One of his superpowers is his ability to distill complex, personal and political issues,” he says. “The work never seems snarky. It’s radical feminism and egalitarianism, but also funny and charming.”
In Loving Memory is on view Monday—Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1 Washington Pl. (at Broadway) in Greenwich Village.
An opening reception is set for Feb. 1 from 6 to 8 p.m.
About Gallatin Galleries
Housed in New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, the Gallatin Galleries showcases innovative and immersive work that blends multiple forms of artistic practice with themes that encompass economic, racial, and social justice. Founded in 2008 and curated by Keith Miller, the Galleries are home to complex and compelling displays that integrate video, photography, sound, painting, and sculpture, illuminating the work of both up-and-coming and established artists while reflecting the interdisciplinary academic mission of the Gallatin School. For more information, please visit https://wp.nyu.edu/gallatingalleries/.