SF Camerwork – Charles Lee: Sweat + Dirt
November 7, 2023 - February 3, 2024
SF Camerawork is pleased to announce the presentation of Bay Area artist Charles Lee’s first solo exhibition, sweat + dirt, on view at our Fort Mason location from November 7, 2023, through February 3, 2024. A public opening reception will be held on Friday, November 10, from 6-8pm, with additional programs to be announced during the run of the exhibition, via our email list and at sfcamerawork.org.
sweat + dirt is a document and investigation of contemporary Black rodeo culture and cowfolk in the United States. The show consists of traditional black-and-white photographs, larger-than-life mural prints, and two photo-based installations, one of which further explores the forms and ideas presented in Lee’s installation Been Here at the City of Berkeley’s Cube Space earlier this year.
Lee’s images of Black ranchers, trail riders, ropers, equestrians, and animal trainers, in moments of joy and hard at work, help disrupt both the image of the rugged, white male cowboy as an icon of Westward expansion and manifest destiny, and today’s reductive stereotypes of white rurality and black urbanness. According to Lee, “All of this is with the intention to further the discussion about what it truly means to be ‘American.’ In effect, this work shows that we’ve been here. … We are American.”
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