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John Bankston – folk incrustations

In my family, making something out of anything but words was a waste of time. Lumpy clay bowls and crayon drawings brought home from school were considered childish aberrations, akin to picking your nose and eating it. 

John Bankston comes from another tradition. He drew his way into the world and hasn’t, as an adult, shaken off the magic of turning a blank into an image or a  lump of clay into a man.

JohnBankstonindianhood.jpgFollowing Glenn Ligon …. (Image via)

glennligonmalcomx.jpg…Bankston investigates the push-pull of African-American traditions through the prism of a coloring book, minus, of course, the book. The weight of cultural assumption trails his figures like a suspicious clerk in a grocery store.

johnbankstonmask.jpgjohnbankstontwin.jpgIn his jaunty fun-house mirror, tragedy causes the distortions.

At James Harris through Oct. 9.

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