News and Events

Nov 18

In Conversation: yasiin bey + José Parlá with Sunny Rahbar

Doors at 6:30p


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We are thrilled to welcome yasiin bey back to the Wythe Cinema for a conversation surrounding the recently opened Brooklyn installation of Negus at the BK Museum with two of his collaborators – José Parlá and Sunny Rahbar.  This will be a conversational event of mixed media, as well as an exploration of the material which inspired the work.

More on the artist and work:

Negus (pronounced nuh-goose) takes its name from the word for “king” or “ruler” in Ge` ez, one of the ancient Semitic languages of Ethiopia. bey associates the term with Prince Alämayyähu Tewodros and others who have led noble lives, including Henrietta Lacks and Nipsey Hussle.

The BK Museum installation is the latest in a series of international presentations of Negus, an exhibition which acknowledges the importance of hip-hop as a fundamental American art form by making the 8-track, 28-minute recording available without the distractions of technology (upon entering the gallery, visitors are given a case in which to lock their mobile devices).  In addition to Negus, the exhibition includes artworks by Ala Ebtekar, Julie Mehretu, and José Parlá created in collaboration with bey, as well as original music by celebrated pianist by Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou.

José Parlá is an artist living and working in Brooklyn. Parlá is publicly known for his permanent installations of large-scale paintings. In 2015 he painted the monumental mural ONE: Union of the Senses in the lobby of One World Trade Center.[2][3] Other notable mural projects include Nature of Language at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University, the mural Diary of Brooklyn at the Barclays CenterDiary of Brooklyn at the Barclays Center (2013), and Amistad América at The University of Texas at Austin (2018). Parlá constructs his paintings improvisationally by layering materials, saying “I’m really interested in the way our lives are built up out of memory and history, and how we reflect that in our surroundings.”

Sunny Rahbar is co-founder of The Third Line in Dubai – a contemporary art gallery focused on building an internationally recognized platform for artists relevant to the Middle East region. Rahbar and her partners also expanded into non-commercial endeavors, art advisory programming as well as publications, having produced several artist books to date.