Kumasi J. Barnett (b. 1974, Baltimore, MD) received his MFA from The Ohio State University, and lives and works in Baltimore, MD. Influenced by the aesthetics and narratives of comic books, his work subverts and imbues the often-timeless genre with historical context and a present day social consciousness. Barnett frequently paints directly over old copies of comic books, changing their narratives into reflections of real events and critiques of social and political issues, including police brutality, systemic racism, fake news, and our political system.
Barnett’s works have been exhibited both in the United States and abroad, including exhibitions at Lowell Ryan Projects, Los Angeles, CA; the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town, South Africa; The Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL; The Verge Center for the Arts, Sacramento, CA; BravinLee programs, New York, NY; and The Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, NY. Barnett presented a solo booth with Lowell Ryan Projects at The Armory Show 2020, in the Focus section curated by Jamillah James. Barnett currently teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his work has been featured in Artforum, Ammo, Vibe, Hyperallergic, Huffington Post, Autre, Artnet News, and The Guardian, among others.
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