by Abdi Farah
Abdi Farah has created Shell, a series of three line and aquatint etchings on 11x14" paper. Each order receives one of the three prints, each picturing the bust of a varsity athlete from a local high school. The series is part of Farah’s ongoing investigation into the aesthetics and ritual of New Orleans high school football culture. The heads are obscured by helmets and appear against stark black. The deep background immediately conjures the night sky of the celebrated Friday night games--now known in pop-culture lexicon as Friday Night Lights. At the same time, Farah likens the darkness to the promise and uncertainty ever-present in these young men’s lives as a result of their participation in the game, where a standout performance or routine injury can decide their futures.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Farah moved to New Orleans in 2011 as part of a yearlong residency hosted by the St. Roch Community Church. After graduating with a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, Farah joined the inaugural cast of Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, a reality television competition that he eventually won in 2010. As part of his prize, Farah was awarded a solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. His work has been exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC; the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC; the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse in Miami; and Staple Goods Gallery and Collective in New Orleans.
Medium: Line and aquatint etching