Blanc Gallery and artist Raub Welch present The Endangered Species: A Visual Response to the Vanishing Black Man.
Against the backdrop of exquisite beauty, this show interrogates masculinity, sexuality, slavery, vanity, mental poverty and the futility of aspiration. Working in the middle of a community in crisis, Raub has grounded the exhibit in the premise that black men have, in fact, already vanished. He invites the audience to project themselves into the future and to view this show as an archeological exploration of what a black man was, what he was expected to be, the artifacts of what he loved, and why he vanished.
Bespoke tophats, gilded religious icons, and ancient timepieces knit together with vibrant butterflies, luscious flowers, and florid peacock eyes to tell the story of black folk. These collages represent Raub’s archeology of black America: his tribute to a dying race.
In addition to being a fine artist, Raub is a collector of antiques and a sought after interior designer. This exhibit is the sum of his parts. He layers archival text, precious relics, antique photos and starkly modern portraits to create three dimensional visual metaphors. Each piece is a riotous installation—a visual treasure hunt.
To celebrate Blanc Gallery’s third anniversary and the close of Black History Month, Raub has choreographed a provocative performance piece to accompany the opening called “the Parade of Spades”. Bucket boy drummers and tuxedoed male models will open this wonderful exhibit.
Blanc Gallery is a community based art space, working to re-inspire a Culture of Conversation in historic Bronzeville. Gallery hours are Saturdays from 1 pm to 3 pm and by appointment. Call 773.952.4394 for more information or visit blancchicago.com.