Carl Pope: Epiphany

Carl Pope,  The Bad Air Smelled of Roses: Epiphany , 2004-ongoing, 19 x 14 in; Letterpress poster.

Carl Pope, The Bad Air Smelled of Roses: Epiphany, 2004-ongoing, 19 x 14 in; Letterpress poster.

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Carl Pope’s creative endeavors are based on the idea of art as a catalyst for individual and collective transformation(s). His multi-media installations were exhibited at prestigious venues including: The Museum of Modern Art and The Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago; receiving generous support from The Guggenheim Foundation, The Lilly Endowment, The National Endowment for the Arts, and The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. The installations gained national and international exposure with “New Photography 6” at the Museum of Modern Art and “Black Male” at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Since 1990, Pope’s methodology with public art evolved into ongoing collaborative efforts with artists and communities…producing large-scale public art inventions that stimulate public dialogue and/or community revitalization. Excursions into his internal landscape produced the video/text installation “Palimpsest” commissioned by the Wadsworth Atheneum; with funds from The Warhol and Lannan Foundations, was included in the Whitney Biennial 2000. Pope worked as a co-curator with Jonathan Katz on the exhibition “Queer Visualities” in 2002. Pope uses his curatorial activities in service to the cultural production of the LGBTQ community, African-American community and local communities across the country. The essay of letterpress posters: “The Bad Air Smelled of Roses” and his recent billboard campaigns continue his ongoing exploration into public and inner space. In 2018, an iteration of “The Bad Air” was published in the hardcover version of “The Appearance of Black Lives Matter” by Nicholas Mirzoeff.

"Carl Pope’s work is at once a form of geography, re-imagining and imaging the forgotten histories, people and places in America, and a new psychology, creating a state of mind capable of sustaining the shocks of the present. It's soul food for the mind, in sharp contrast to the quick hit of consumer pleasure that dominates the art market, and it's all the more important for that." Nicholas Mirzoeff, Professor of Media, Culture, and Communications, NYU