For the Façade of the Gardner Museum, former Artist-in-Residence Steve Locke created Three Deliberate Grays for Freddie (A Memorial for Freddie Gray), which addresses issues of race and violence in America today. Locke painted an abstract portrait of Gray, a 25-year-old Black American man, whose untimely death after being in Baltimore Police custody in 2015 aggravated longstanding racial tensions in the city and sparked street protests, police clashes, and violence.
Locke generated three distinct monochromes by averaging the pixels of three individual photos of Gray that were frequently used in the media. One is a family photo, one is from his arrest, and one is an image of Gray in the hospital on life support. The resulting colors form a timeline of the life, suffering, and death of Freddie Gray.The work can be viewed through January 21, 2019.
Born in Cleveland and raised in Detroit, Steve Locke’s solo work has been exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit; Mendes Wood in São Paulo, Brazil; and VOLTA 5 in Basel, Switzerland. His work has also been shown in New York, Pennsylvania, Savannah, Seattle, and Beijing. He is an associate professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and was appointed a visiting associate professor in painting at Yale University in 2014. He has a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Boston University, and Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Mass Art. Locke spent a month living and working at the Gardner Museum as an Artist-in-Residence in 2016. He is the 12th artist to create a work for this public art space in the Museum.