Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Jamaica’s Multi-Media Artist, Yrneh Gabon Brown, for major exhibition at California Museum


Jamaica’s flag continues to be carried high all over the world . And while the country is known for its excellent performances in the areas of sports and music, Jamaicans are shining and achieving in many other areas as well. Now comes news that Jamaica’s multi-media artist, Yrneh Gabon Brown, has secured his first six month solo exhibition and sale of his work at one of California’s leading museums, the California African American Museum.

The exhibition will run from August 29 2014. This is a great achievement for any artist in a competitive environment where only the best gets rewarded with even a second glance in Hollywood’s fast pace jet-set world of the arts and entertainment. .

Yrneh’s exhibition is being presented under the theme ‘Visibly Invisible’ and tells the stories of his personal journey and awakening while researching and documenting the devastating effects of prejudice, ignorance and violence inflicted upon people affected with albinism in Tanzania, Jamaica and even the United Sates .

As a special aspect of his exhibition, Yrneh has invited his mentor, well known Grammy and Emmy-nominated actress and visual artist, C.C. Pounder, to exhibit a piece of her work which ties in with the theme of his show on albinism. ‘C.C Pounder who is known for her roles in ‘ER’, ‘X Files’ and the movie ‘Avatar’, has been a strong supporter of my research on albinism in Africa and it was through her involvement and support that I was even able to undertake the research and to travel to Tanzania’, noted Yrneh. 

Through videos, recorded in these locations, and artwork created in various media, (photography, collage, assemblage, sheet metal, cast bronze and ceramic sculpture), Yrneh will share his inspirational trips and heart-felt devotion towards children and adults living with albinism.

“I first saw the prejudices against people with albinism as a child in Jamaica and this has inspired this exhibition ,” he noted.

Yrneh is an artist dedicated to a cause, which in and of itself is not a unique quality but according to those who have helped him to hone his craft and creative skills, what is rare is the depth of his devotion to it, and rare also are the creative ways he champions it. Yrneh believes that his artwork must have a real impact in the world and must create change. He believes that art has power. While undertaking his studies at the Roski School of Art and Design at the University of Southern California, Yrneh saw his work as active in the larger social and political fabric. Yrneh is focused on building his audience and his means of support and educating the world. He envisions his work as being fully integrated into the social sphere in a way that few other artists do.

In his work to be displayed come month-end, Yrneh presents the history of and contemporary conditions surrounding albinism in areas of Tanzania, where human body parts are sometimes used as ingredients for the practice of magic. The belief persists that these magic practitioners can make their customers more powerful, personally, economically, and sexually. These practitioners prey on people with albinism even to this very day, mutilating or killing them for their body parts.

Beyond the big story, Yrneh makes artworks that tell the stories of individuals with albinism, so that the whole terrible practice becomes personal. Through his exhibit, he intends to educate and to bring about change.

Yrneh Gabon Brown was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He has lived and worked in the United States, Europe and the Caribbean and now resides in Los Angeles, California. Before migrating to the USA, Yrneh won gold and silver medals in speech and drama festivals from the Jamaican Cultural Development Commission. In 1988, he won the grand finals in the Tastee talent contest, then the leading talent contest in the Caribbean.

Yrneh has worked with several television and film studios such as, New Line Cinema, Disney, Mupheduh, Paradise Films, & Television, Lorimar, ABC’s 20/20, HBO T.V, Channel 4 Brazil, T.VJ Jamaica, and CVM-TV (Jamaica). In 2006 Yrneh Gabon Brown took the brave step and returned to school where he pursued a degree at the prestigious University of Southern California, Gayle Roski School of Fine Arts (USC ) graduating with honours.

‘I’m excited about this solo exhibition and am putting the final touches to the pieces which will be finished and fully installed for the opening come August 29.”Yrneh added.

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