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SOUP TO NUTS WITH COLIN QUASHIE | April 27, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
The Halsey Institute, 161 Calhoun Street
Colin Quashie is an artist of this time. The controversy that surrounded the Battle Flag of the Confederacy which flew defiantly above South Carolina’s State Capitol building engenders precisely the form of polemic exchange in which he feels most at ease. Quashie’s wry, ironic, and irreverent art works are especially timely, forcing his audience to consider difficult cultural problems which they may often prefer to avoid. In this Post-modern era, Quashie’s highly political art may be categorized as “conceptual” and “journalistic”. Artistically and aesthetically, much of his work is closely allied to the ideals of the Pop-Art Movement of the 1960s & 70s. However, the subject matter he presents is radically different from the topics explored in the earlier Pop-Art genre. What is singular about a “Quashie” point of view? What does this Charleston iconoclast have that demands our notice?
Quashie was born in London, England (1963) and raised in the West Indies. At age six, his parents emigrated to the States and settled in Daytona Beach. The artist briefly attended the University of Florida on a full academic scholarship, but felt ill at ease in academia and left, eventually joining the Navy as a submarine sonarman. It was there that his lifelong love for art re-emerged. After his discharge in 1987, he made the decision to pursue an art career. Showing steady growth, his art career ended abruptly in 1995 after an exhibition was censored. Frustrated with the art world, he abandoned art, moved West and landed a job as a comedy sketch writer on Mad-Tv. His love for art re-emerged two years later and since then, in between writing gigs (he has written for five other comedy series and in 2001 received an Emmy award for documentary writing), he continues to produce his unique brand of art. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina where he paints while continuing to write.