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Note:  This artwork has exhibited at two museums (Reece Museum, Tennessee, and Marietta Cobb Museum) in juried exhibitions and was featured in an online magazine article (The Hood: Bedtime Stories, Emmett Till and FDR” by Khadiah Abdurahman; published May 31, 2018.  

 Harlem Baby: My Lord What a Morning is a mixed media narrative collage that documents the experience, tragedies and resilience of African Americans in what the artist calls “performance collage.”  The artist spent several years piecing the artwork together, however, at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2016, she was moved to complete this artwork and submitted it for exhibition. 
      As the viewer’s eye travels around the implied performance, the eye decides between the boy in the top left corner with tribal paint on his face and the baby in the bottom right hand corner.  The baby in the right hand corner of the picture is the actual baby picture of the artist.  (Ironically, Lisa Whittington’s baby picture closely resembles the cherubs in Raphaels Sistine Madonna.  The artist was born in Harlem, hence the name in the title “Harlem Baby”.  )  Harlem Baby is in deep thought and talking to God about the experience of African Americans since they were brought by force to America.  Harlem Baby also knows that a few hundred years is just one morning to God. In the narrative, the artist symbollically chronicles a cycle of historic events that have been tragic and separated the Black family.  And hidden-- in the center of it all-- hiding-- is a white racist cop with a gun.  Lisa Whittington has decoded the symbols in this artwork on her website blog.  In addition, she created a short film, showing on her website that dramatizes the artwork in animated, Ken Burns style.

The artist created a sister artwork --“After Saturday Night Comes Sunday” that is currently being decoded and submitted for juried exhibition.

This artwork is traditionally framed and waiting for the right investor and collector who will continue the work of preserving and exhibiting African American history through art.
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Harlem Baby: My Lord What A Morning
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Harlem Baby: My Lord What A Morning Collage

Lisa Whittington

United States

Collage

Size: 20.5 W x 24 H x 1 D in

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About The Artwork

Note: This artwork has exhibited at two museums (Reece Museum, Tennessee, and Marietta Cobb Museum) in juried exhibitions and was featured in an online magazine article (The Hood: Bedtime Stories, Emmett Till and FDR” by Khadiah Abdurahman; published May 31, 2018. Harlem Baby: My Lord What a Morning is a mixed media narrative collage that documents the experience, tragedies and resilience of African Americans in what the artist calls “performance collage.” The artist spent several years piecing the artwork together, however, at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2016, she was moved to complete this artwork and submitted it for exhibition. As the viewer’s eye travels around the implied performance, the eye decides between the boy in the top left corner with tribal paint on his face and the baby in the bottom right hand corner. The baby in the right hand corner of the picture is the actual baby picture of the artist. (Ironically, Lisa Whittington’s baby picture closely resembles the cherubs in Raphaels Sistine Madonna. The artist was born in Harlem, hence the name in the title “Harlem Baby”. ) Harlem Baby is in deep thought and talking to God about the experience of African Americans since they were brought by force to America. Harlem Baby also knows that a few hundred years is just one morning to God. In the narrative, the artist symbollically chronicles a cycle of historic events that have been tragic and separated the Black family. And hidden-- in the center of it all-- hiding-- is a white racist cop with a gun. Lisa Whittington has decoded the symbols in this artwork on her website blog. In addition, she created a short film, showing on her website that dramatizes the artwork in animated, Ken Burns style. The artist created a sister artwork --“After Saturday Night Comes Sunday” that is currently being decoded and submitted for juried exhibition. This artwork is traditionally framed and waiting for the right investor and collector who will continue the work of preserving and exhibiting African American history through art.

Details & Dimensions

Collage:Paint on Wood

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:20.5 W x 24 H x 1 D in

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I am fearless in my artistic journey and I have to be. I embody a sense of creative responsibility to express and document the vibe, the history and the experiences of Black people. I am versatile across mediums, but my love is abstract expressionism because of all the places it can go and how it excites me as an artist. Within my body of work it is not unusual to find figurative work, narratives, as well as non representational abstracts. Much of my work develops intuitively. I’ve been involved in art all of my life. I’ve also been to museums all around the world observing and studying art. I understand it’s importance and impact on culture and society. I enjoy being an artist and a historian and find purpose in my creative work. My collectors and the museums that have acquired my work tend to feel they are investing in something bigger than either of us can see. Art is not always about how many paintings an artist can sell, but its contribution to the world and the insight of the collector. My work can be documentary, rhythmic, political, soulful, and even non-objective. My narrative work usually tells the story of Black people in America, or gives pause to my experience coming of age in New York City. Harlem, NY is an ongoing muse and narrator in my work. Recently, an anonymous donor purchased a billboard wall and hired a media company to paint my artwork “A Harlem Story” on a side of a building in Brooklyn as a mural to honor my work. Please be sure to visit my website lisalovewhittington.com and follow my Instagram @theartistlisalove to stay up to date on my very interesting journey with Art.

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