Disseminate, Recent Work by Michael Paul Britto.
Curated by Laura James.
Opening October 8th @ Hell Gate Arts
Michael Paul Britto is a long-time multidisciplinary artist working on themes of Race, Class and the black experience in America. In Disseminate, Mr. Britto spreads out, while focusing his eye on the experiences and struggles that racialized people face on a daily basis. He aims to assist the viewer in finding “embodied empathy” for the experience of being a brown person in America today. Using sculpture, audio, video mapping, collage and participatory work he creates a multi-sensory experience that brings us into that world. His work is surgical in its directness. He leaves little ambiguity in the statements made in his work. In Unarmed Black Man, He invites the viewer to use a nerf gun to shoot a target of a black man’s silhouette. The theme of the black man as a target is repeated in several other works.
“To truly appreciate Britto’s work we will be asked to leave our comfort zones.” Says Curator Laura James. “I first saw Michael Paul Britto’s work in 2015 at Momenta Art in Bushwick, in a show aptly titled ‘Shock and Awe.’ Between the looped video of a black man and a white man taking turns slapping one another, and a half pint vodka bottled filled with A White Woman’s Tears, I was shocked and awed. Looking around at the hipster Bushwick crowd I couldn't help feeling Britto was exposing us, Black people. Irrational, I know, that initial reaction passed, and I saw the work for what it was, Truth. As a fan of simple imagery that packs a punch, I am honored to help disseminate the clear vision of race man/race artist Michael Paul Britto, as he lets the rest of the people in on our secrets. It might make us all uncomfortable, but it must be done.”
Michael Paul Britto has devoted his artistic career to the subjects of race, class, police brutality, and the plights of people of color. The times we are in have not changed his message. His vision remains steadfast but with renewed hope that world events and time have brought a fresh perspective, and new eyes to the ideas. Mr. Britto’s work is at its core hopeful, hopeful that with better understanding things may get improve. .
The show and its accompanying materials will be also be viewable online at The artist will be at the gallery 3-6pm Saturdays. There will be a virtual artist talk also on Saturday October 24th at 3:30 pm (Check Website for details).
Hell Gate Arts is a gallery and community space in the Port Morris section of the Bronx, located in the shadow of the Hell Gate Bridge.