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Jul 16, 2009

Yasser Musa and twenty years of art

Story PictureThe name Yasser Musa is synonymous with art, in many forms. This Friday on his birthday, Yasser will put on display twenty years of his accomplishments – a repertoire of his works as an art activist, poet, publisher, teacher and promoter of the arts. The multitalented artist takes a look back at his journey in the art scene, locally, regionally and internationally. This includes milestones such as the founding of the Image Factory in 1995, international art shows in Havana, Santo Domingo, New Orleans, Tokyo and some other interesting projects such as the Banana Boy and Clothes Line. But according to Musa, he has a lot more in store for art connoisseurs. At Friday night’s event, he will be releasing ‘Loose Electricity’, his most recent set of recorded poems on CD and an unusual initiative called ‘The Mahogany Project.’

Yasser Musa, Artist
“All artist have a burning sense of wanting to produce, declare and make statements; whether it is musical statement, visual statements, photographical statements, written statements; whatever. So what I want to focus on is for the younger artists to stay confident. We have forty-five works of art including drawings on paper, paintings on canvas, collages, video, audio listening stations, photography display, a display of various publications and articles that have been done over the past twenty-years. So they will see all kind of things and I am very confident that people will leave here with a sense of variety of what’s happening.”

Duane Moody
“Of who you are as a person?”

Yasser Musa
“Yes. I think more than any one work that has stood out in my mind and in my heart, more importantly, is this idea of collaborating with others—whether if it was having a joint exhibition with Michael Gordon in the mid nineties where I would paint and he would paint on top of my painting, or working with Gilvano or Juan Duran or Ivan Duran in 1992. Tomorrow night in the spirit of continuation, not just to say okay I started in 1989 and I’ll stop in 2009—no, it continues. In that spirit of continuation and collaboration I will launch two more projects, a set of recording called Loose Electricity, which I am very grateful to Ivan Duran for helping me with the technical recording side. And the second thing I am also going to be launching is a Mahogany Project where I will be involving the audience tomorrow to participate in taking a mahogany seed or a small tree taking it home, planting it wherever they want and then sending me back a postcard that I will be giving them to tell me some data as to where they planted it and hopefully in twenty years I can track what has happened to this tree.”

Musa worked along with curator, Gilvano Swasey, to put together the show. The exhibit is entitled, ‘Yasser Musa – 20Years of Art – 1989/2009,’ and opens on Friday at seven p.m.

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