Zeph Farmby

20 Jay Street, M10G

Zeph Farmby, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (2018). Ink On Newspaper. 12 x 12 in. Edition Of 50.

The contributions of African Americans to the building of this country and what’s considered its popular culture, are often lost when recalling its history. However, their advancements in science, literature, art, music and sports has definitely shifted the landscape in those fields. In his touring exhibition Social Studies, Zeph Farmby highlights a number of African American Icons in what one can call a visionary history lesson. On its third lap, the Chicago born artist returns home on February 14, 2020 at the Connect Gallery in Hyde Park, in partnership with The Bishop Gallery. The exhibition, which is fitting for Black History Month, will run through March 20, 2020.

On August 13, 2018, the NY Post newspaper released a limited-edition cover featuring the logo of the ubiquitous streetwear brand Supreme. The Monday edition of the New York daily read will later become Zeph’s canvas to honor pivotal figures in African American history. The exhibition showcases greats like activists/change-makers Angela Davis, Fred Hampton, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., along with crooners like Nia Simone and Curtis Mayfield to name a few.

First launching in The Bishop Gallery in Brooklyn, New York in September 2019, the exhibition then made its way to Art Basel Miami in December 2019 where it completely sold out. After Chicago, it’s slated to show in the Milwaukee Art Museum in September 2020 and the Red Museum in Osaka, Japan in November 2020. In each city, the exhibit will expand to include additional works.

In the past, Zeph has used his artistic platform to foster conversations about capitalism, classism and the socio-economic effects of the imagery we’re bombarded with daily in “Pursuing False Idols”. In “Color Me Bad”, Zeph debuted his “Brainwashed” series which depicted the subliminal imagery shown in popular cartoons of African Americans in a negative light and the effect it has on how they see themselves and later behave like those stereotypes. If chronicled, Zeph’s body of work can flipped like an African American Studies textbook.