Featuring: David O. Alekhuogie
Sagging pants, with its brief history as a style associated with hip hop, gang culture, and black male masculinity, has been politicized and at times criminalized as a pretext for racist persecution.
In the Pull-Up series, close-up photographs of the waist area become landscape inspired compositions: bands of color formed by shirt, underwear, and low-slung pants.
Initially shot in the studio and variously obfuscated, these images are then taken out into the city, where the flora and famed lights of Los Angeles enter the frame. Red berries appear in the foreground of one image, echoing the red athletic shorts at the bottom of the photograph.
Shadows trace blurry “drawings” over the rephotographed surface, further distorting our perception. And so the contentious saggy pants are merged with nature — protective camouflage for the black body within.
David Alekhuogie (b. 1985) received his MFA from Yale University and post-baccalaureate BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Alekhuogie’s multidisciplinary art practice is centered around photography and examines the dialectical relationships between politics, race, gender, media, and power.
He has had solo exhibitions at Skibum MacArthur (2017) and at Chicago Artists Coalition (2016.) Alekhuogie has participated in group shows at High Museum of Art (2017), Fraenkel Gallery (2015), and Regen Projects (2015.)
His work has been published in the The New Yorker, The New York Times, Time Magazine, Timeout, Chicago, Vice, and the Los Angeles Times.
Alekhuogie’s solo exhibition Gravity will be on view at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery from February 14 to April 14, 2019.
David Alekhuogie lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
For Freedoms is a platform for greater participation in the arts and civil society. We produce exhibitions, installations, public programs, and billboard campaigns to advocate for inclusive civic participation. Inspired by American artist Norman Rockwell’s paintings of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms (1941) — freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear — For Freedoms Federation uses art to encourage and deepen public explorations of freedom in the 21st century.