kai barrow


kai barrow (b. 1959, Chicago) is a visual and performance artist who lives and works in New Orleans. Barrow is interested in the praxis of Black radical imagination. Experimenting with the idea of an abolitionist art vernacular, her sprawling paintings, installations, and sculptures are formed in traditional and non-traditional environments to transgress biological, ideological, and carceral borders. Barrow’s found object sculptural installations, performances, and environments use materials such as dirt, rope, coffee, indigo, cotton, branches, and bones as a visual and ethnographic language. Together with her four muses: Absurdity, Sarcasm, Myth, and Merriment, the work performs queer, Black, feminist theory as an aesthetic genre. Barrow is a self-taught artist. She is a member of Alternate Roots and a founding member of Gallery of the Streets, a national network of artists, activists, and scholars who work at the nexus of art, education, social change, and community engagement. Artist residencies, fellowships, and awards include the Joan Mitchell Center (9/20-2/21); A Studio in the Woods (9/19), the Weavers Project Fellowship (2017-2019), and the Kindle Project’s “Makers Muse” award. In 2020, barrow was awarded a “YBCA 100” award for her work at the intersections of art and activism.

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