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‘Black Blooded’ takes up the diversity of artistry
John Love exhibit at New Gallery of Modern Art
Published Wednesday, June 20, 2018 12:00 pm
by Ashley Mahoney

“Black Blooded,” which opens at the New Gallery of Modern Art June 27, exhibits the work of more than 40 artists from around the world and shows the diversity within black contemporary art.

John W. Love Jr. created an extraordinary existence.

He kicks off the first of several talks centering around the exhibit “Black Blooded” at the New Gallery of Modern Art, 435 South Tryon St., Suite 110, on June 27 at 6 p.m. The exhibit runs through August.

“The show is about 45 artists from all over the world,” gallery Director Irina Toshkova said. “It’s set up as a family photo album, and there is a huge range in technique, career levels of the artists, in mediums and subject matter. The show is meant to show diversity within black contemporary art.”

Love’s influence has spread throughout Charlotte since his days as a student at West Charlotte High School. His work has taken him well beyond Mecklenburg County to places like Paris, but also offered opportunities at cultural institutions within his hometown.

“In maximizing my own resources, I said, ‘what can I do with what I have?’” Love said. “I did not lament what I didn’t have, because that didn’t do me any good. The minute that I maximized what I could do with what I had, existence opened up to me. Existence literally met me halfway, and other opportunities to bring things into fruition came into being. That has been the reality for me for my entire career. Any and everything that I’ve done that I feel has been significant has happened because of that.”

From two residencies at the McColl Center to having his work displayed at the Mint Museum Uptown to becoming the first individual artist to earn the Arts & Science Council McColl Award in 2011 for his work “FECUND,” Love didn’t wait for anything to come to him. As such, he earned a place as a 2017 Guggenheim fellow.

“I always say to people, ‘someone always has to go first, and it might as well be you,’” Love said. “Show up to the party with the magnificence that you hoped would be there, and then watch what comes through the door.”

Said Toshkova: “John is someone who I deem one of the most unique and talented people who we have living here in Charlotte. It’s an incredible honor to have him in the gallery to give his perspective on our current exhibit, but also for everyone to be in his presence.”

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