The Black Art Review was created to be used as a reference and refuge that aims to document the struggles, obstacles, and triumphs of Black artists around the globe. As a San Francisco Museum of Modern Art marketing intern, I researched socio-economic and political influences that impacted the African American community in the San Francisco Bay Area. I found that the second wave of the great migration to the Bay Area was the catalyst for a Black Arts Movement lasting from 1969 to 1975.
Black artists around the world are left with a lifetime of disadvantages’ they still face today. Plagued with community disinvestment, lack of housing, and discriminatory banking practices from the local, state, and federal level, Black artists have been systematically shut out of an industry. Laws and ordinances passed during the Great Migration, beginning in 1916 and lasting until the mid seventies,were intended to slow down the growth of the Black population in the San Francisco Bay Area. These efforts have led to generational and intentional consequences that have ultimately barred and marginalized the talents of Black creatives across all art disciplines.
Here at the Black Art Review, our goal is to write and right those wrongs as well as level the playing field for Black artists across diaspora. With your support, I believe we can achieve this through profit sharing from the sales of our quarterly publication. As growth permits and engagement increases, the Black Art Review will begin offering consultation services that will provide independent sales advice to artists who want to distance themselves from the oppressive politics and limitations of institutionalized art spaces.
Alvin Jackson -
A fifth generation resident of the San Francisco Bay Area and a first generation college student with a degree in Journalism from California State University East Bay. My family reached the SF Bay Area during the first wave of the Great Migration in the 1930s.
As a student writer at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, California I discovered a love for critiquing art and that led to a decision to apply for an internship at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Summer 2019, I found myself among a group of 18 bright-eyed student interns out of 800 applicants. I took it as a sign telling me this was my life path and I have been curating this website ever since.
Through my internship, I learned from the struggles of Black artists in order to create a platform to move them forward and into spaces unknown. Black artists are underrepresented, disrespected, and intentionally left out of opportunities white artists receive by doing far less work. I hope to use our collective power and strength to tilt the odds in our favor and circulate money in the community. Blackartreview(dot)com is a narrative space using art to push a new generation of Black artists forward while paying our dues to those who came before us.
Malik Seneferu is a San Francisco native with deep roots throughout the region. He got his art inspirations from his childhood experiences and familial influences. In an effort to add color to his life he began to illustrate the realities of his own lived experiences. Malik’s first muse was his own father in which he used as “his first comic project.” However, his paying gig was from his mother who knew he had a gift and pushed him to hone his craft.
As he got older and his craft matured, he realized that the knowledge of artist who came before him was necessary to the growth of his craft. Learning business savviness, wit, and communication skills from art elders. Malik was able to visualize an art gallery in his home as a teenager and threw yearly birthday parties at their own home. “I want to use my art to minister the world,” he said.
Seeing art as his personal ministry and his life as a testimony, Malik discovered a new outlook on his personal art aesthetic and curatorial ability to display and produce an artistic ministry for everyone to enjoy. Creating from the intersections of Black optimism and white fear, he uses his paintings as a storyboard to visualize Black realities to and for those who don’t want to see or believe in a liberated future for Black people.
Eric Murphy is an Oakland based curator at the Joyce Gordon Gallery located in the heart of downtown Oakland. He sits as an Alameda County arts commission board member and plans to use his power to leverage the playing field for Black artists.
Eric Murphy has been a curator for over 20 years. He began as a curatorial assistant at Pro Arts Gallery in Oakland in 1999. Under the expertise of Betty Kono, Murphy learned the ins and outs of the arts. Curating work independently through local art galleries led to his position as an Alameda County Arts Commissioner representing District three under supervisor Wilma Chan. Throughout his eight years as a commissioner (2012-2020), Eric has seen the need for Black artist visibility and has shifted his curatorial practice to speak to the lived experiences of Black lives outside the gaze of whiteness. He recognizes his power and uses it to bring awareness to the disadvantages Black artists’ face. “As a Black curator, I like to curate works by artists that commonly reflect me, my heritage, my people." Curator Eric Murphy of the Joyce Gordon Gallery is in the position to leverage the playing field for Black artists. The Black Art Review could not be more grateful for his leadership. You can meet Eric during gallery hours on Wednesday through Friday from 12-6. Joyce Gordon Gallery is located in Oakland, CA at 406 14th street
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 1pm - 9pm