Cecil McDonald MFA ‘08 Photography Exhibition on Display at Hyde Park Art Center
Adjunct Faculty member Cecil McDonald MFA ‘08 studied fashion, house music, and dance club culture before receiving an MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago.
McDonald’s latest installation of work is now on display as a solo exhibition at the Hyde Park Art Center. Cuts and Beats will be running through Saturday, June 12.
The exhibition of photography and installation work presents a collection of Cecil McDonald, Jr.’s most recent body of work birthed from his 2018 residency at the Art Center, which embodies photomontages to subvert the racist representation of Black artists from history. Through his art practice, McDonald explores the intersections of masculinity, kinship, and the artistic and intellectual pursuits of Black Americans, using photography, video, and text. Cuts and Beats, particularly, draws attention to the controlled conditions under which Black artists performed and built careers during the Vaudeville and Minstrel era. Using photomontage technique, McDonald combined manipulated historical images of Black artists publicized by the entertainment industry—vintage sheet music covers, theater advertisements, and artist publicity photographs—with contemporary photographs taken by the artist himself in dance clubs around Chicago. By blending generations, locations, and authorship, the artist wishes to subvert, not erase, the racist representations of Black musicians popularized in the late 1800s.
For more information on the exhibitions, safety protocols and related virtual public programs, please visit www.hydeparkart.org.