Founder/CE0 of Black Art In America™, Artist, Art Activist and Collector.
MR.DORSEY, known to be a lovable R0UX, has come off of an incredible five year art road trip -- literally. He is now the consummate art world OUTSIDER to be watched. We are going to look at the dualities of what drives Mr. Dorsey and the last three years of ...
BUSINESS AND ART
A June 12, 2012 article in blackenterprise.com by Demetria Irwin, reported this about Najee Dorsey ...
Cool Jobs: ‘Artrepreneur’ Uses Web to Expose World to Artists of Color. Multimedia artist combines passion for artistry with business acumen.
The Dorsey family business is ART.
WHAT WAS MISSING IN ART SCHOOL WAS THE BLACK IMAGE ---
Najee attended Memphis College of Art (later known as the Memphis Academy of Art) and felt that there was something missing in the school's environment. So he left ...
Later he met his mentor, Najjar Abdul-Musawwir, an artist and community arts activist, Najjar helped Najee to refocus. The results of this mentoring included Najee creating his first work of art using the image of a Black person. (left: MUDBONES, 1993)
What Najee realized was missing in art school was the presence of black aesthetics in the curriculum. Najee Dorsey found his way -- he loved to express himself with the images and stories of being Black In America. Mr. Musawwir purchased the next piece Najee produced, Guidance In Time Of Ignorance.(below)
As Najee traveled the art circuit that Black artists frequented, he started to experience what it really meant to do art, full-time, as a Black artist. He became well acquainted with the trials and tribulations of most African American artists -- the closed doors in the mainstream arts community, the lack of representation in art institutions, and the undervaluation of African American art and its creators by dominant society. He also noticed the self imposed distancing of the Post-Black contemporary artists and professionals who felt ill at ease being associated with rank and file black artists.
Thelma Golden's POST-BLACK identity movement was narrow casted. It had no room for the artists who maintained their black sense of cultural identity or aesthetics. It left a void that needed to be filled, a place for the other Black artists.
From this point on, Thelma Golden and Najee Dorsey would cross paths in the small world of art, both working at opposite ends of the Black spectrum. (Right: Thelma Golden and Najee Dorsey)
D0RSEY THE S0CIAL MEDIA GURU
Instead of just concentrating on his career as a self-taught artist, Najee had to confront and counter the issues of exclusion and the shabby representation of Black artists and began to truly romanticize 'Black art'. Being proactive, he founded Black Art In America™ (BAIA) in 2010 as a free online media platform for African American artists, collectors, art enthusiasts,and arts professionals.
Black Art In America™ had a HICCUP in 2012, after which BAIA exploded.
A network was built on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumbler and Pinterest, with close to 25,000 members and half a million visitors from over 180 countries on a weekly basis.
Left: Please take a tour of the BAIA™ website.
Beyond the business of ART, NAJEE DORSEY is an artist first.
Najee has built, with the help of his wife, Seteria, and some of his friends, a new model for promoting and encouraging collecting of Black Art in America. But what about his personal career as an artist?
Despite his left brain / right brain being constantly engaged, the past two years have been quite eventful for artist, Najee Dorsey. Najee’s first solo major exhibition, Leaving Mississippi -- Reflections on Heroes and Folklore at the Columbus Museum in Columbus, GA, opened to record attendance.
Najee's work has also been featured in the following Museum exhibitions as follows: Syracuse University Folk Art Center, Resistance: Works by Najee Dorsey, Syracuse, NY (2015); Houston Museum of African American Culture, Leaving Mississippi: Works by Najee Dorsey, Houston, TX (2015); Mississippi Museum of Art, Leaving Mississippi: Works by Najee Dorsey (2015); American Jazz Museum, All Hail to Hale -- Homecoming, The Hale Woodruff Family Collection, (2015); American Jazz Museum, Kansas City, MO, Jazz Then and Now (2014); Booth Western Art Museum, South of The Sweet Tea Line IV (2014); Hammonds House Museum, The Rupture In The Complexity of Black Manhood: Selected Works By Claude Clark, Najee Dorsey and Steve Prince, Atlanta, GA (2014); -Jackson State University, Leaving Mississippi: Works by Najee Dorsey, Jackson, MS (2014); St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO, Hands Up Don’t Shoot, St. Louis, MO (2014).
"He finds an elegance in execution and strikes that balance between concept and composition", - critical review of, Resistance: Works by Najee Dorsey, Syracuse, NY (2015)
on September 09, 2015 at 8:50 AM,
Katherine Rushworth went on to say - "When Dorsey works back into the pieces, collaging paint upon paint, or attaching found objects as in "Bass Reeves Lawman," "Don't Shoot Back," and "B4 Rosa Here I Stand," he finds an elegance in execution and strikes that balance between concept and composition. Those are the pieces that resonate most like the moments in history that inspired them.
Najee's vision is African American Family and Culture preserved through ART ..
Visual folklore of growing up Black in America
ART by NAJEE DORSEY
THE LUSH PARLOR LIFE
African American lives were shaped by their southern upbringing. No matter how humble their beginnings, there was always an elegance in how they lived. Or maybe it's just our imagination. (left: Parlor, mixed media)
The Palour was the sitting room, the centerpiece of home life. In the palour everything that was special in the Black family took place -- it was all about the family. It is the perfect backdrop to relate visual tales of African American home life. (Above right:Boutique, mixed media)
Young women waited for their suitors (Above: Tea Time, digital collage 19x13 inches)
sororities hung-out with their sisterhood in the parlor
(Above: Delta House, 16x38.5 inches signed and numbered limited edition print)
Dad spent time with us and Grandpa chilled in his favorite chair
(Above -- left to right: Daddy's Girl, 16x20 inches mixed media and Simple Life, 14x18 inches
mixed media by Najee Dorsey)
Our cousins would come for a visit and the family recital always took place in the parlor.
(Above -- left to right: Lady In Blue (Parlor Room), 16x20 inches mixed media and Visiting Family 16x20 inches mixed media by Najee Dorsey)
But then there was the other family members
they were only talked about in whispers ..
Others were sung about in the tall tales of the blues.
(Below: Blind Tom Crossing Horace King Bridge,22x22 inches digital collage by Najee Dorsey)
Some hit the road and left town and never came back -- leaving family behind.
(Below: Life's A Journey, 16x20 inches digital collage by Najee Dorsey)
(Above: Conjur Woman, 36x77 inches mixed media by Najee Dorsey)
Others stayed and defended family,friends and faith ...
(Below: Deacons For Defense, 30 x 20 limited edition)
(Above: AJJ Lounge, 40x19 in, digital collage)