Spotlight: Multimedia Artist, Rashaad Newsome


Transfixed is how I’d describe the first time I experienced Rashaad Newsome’s work. In a white booth at The Armory Show, his video performance Shade Compositions SFMOMA looped on a flat screen. With Newsome as the maestro, this sea of performers dressed in sass, accentuated lips, flexing with scattered matching handbags started a chorus of what Newsome calls “ghetto gestures” – snapping heads back and forth, sucking teeth while saying things like “what” and “excuse-me” over and over till it built itself into a neighborhood crescendo of ‘what happens/what you hear on your block’.

I dare you to watch the video below and not understand a fraction of the fierceness.

Once I pulled myself out of the video performance, I realized the collage artwork hanging in the booth was also by Newsome. Pieces that clearly emulated a vocabulary lived through and taught. His style is a seamless swaggering blend of urban culture and fine art – a mix of collage, video, and performance. His art is propped up on color, framed off with blingy status symbols – chrome hub caps and heavy gold rope chain punctuate collage images that low-ride through the traditional art world culture like it owes him money.

Multimedia Artist, Rashaad Newsome Multimedia Artist, Rashaad Newsome

Some of my favorite works have been his recent art performances that focus on transforming what you think defines the popular dance form known as voguing.  In the performances, dancers perform effortlessly for the camera, showing off the skill and beauty involved with this cultured narrative.

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed watching Rashaad navigate through the art world on his own terms, weighing in on more than visual terms. It allows you to realize that there is a place in the contemporary art world for an artist to give a true representation of the world they came from and the one they’ve grown into to. Inhabiting that space is the unfiltered version of creative freedom – exactly what Newsome continues to creates for the subjects he’s often inspired by.


Rashaad Newsome | Website | Instagram

Rashaad Newsome – Born 1979, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Lives and works in New York.

The More You Know:

  • Rashaad Newsome, Blending Hip-Hop and Heraldry | New York Times
  • Want more of Newsome’s Videos on his Vimeo
  • Rashaad Explores The History of Hip-Hop Gestures | Huffington Post
  • At NOMA (New Orleans Museum of Art): A look back at the first solo exhibition in Louisiana by renowned video, performance, and collage artist Rashaad Newsome (born 1979), Rashaad Newsome: King of Arms explores the artist’s interest in ornament, systems of heraldry, and Baroque grandeur.

#TBT Brooklyn Museum – Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe [VIDEO]

It went down this spring at the Brooklyn Museum – Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe.

Killer Heels explored fashion’s most provocative accessory. Along with the showcase of heels from the high platform chopines of sixteenth-century Italy to the glamorous stilettos on today’s runways and red carpets; the exhibition also delved into the imaginative. Showcasing shoes created by new 3D technology and inviting contemporary artists to take looks at the high-heeled shoe’s rich and varied history through film added another layer to the already provocative show.

We think it’s a shame that we only shared these videos on our Vine, so we hope you enjoy this look back on one of our favorite shows of 2015 so far.

Rashaad Newsome / Knot

Leanie van der Vyver / Scary Beautiful, 2012

Steven Klein / untitled, 791, 2014