"How Rashid Johnson broke through as an immense artist while his works summoned African-American history and identities" by Thibaut Wychowanok
— NUMÉRO ART
"Long before Black Lives Matter, his photographs – one of the most famous, from 2005, shows him posing naked in front of the camera –, paintings and installations summoned up complex narrative systems on the theme of African-American identity and history, its rebellions, its art, literature, music and everyday objects. Even the shea butter used during his childhood by family members became an emblematic material. But his works are neither demonstrative nor outrageously figurative or didactic; on the contrary, they are often more like abstract, some- times minimalist puzzles in which materials, figures and objects (when recognisable) work together to express intimate emotional states rather than simply “representing” the African-American community. In his paintings, there’s a certain vandalism, in the way he creates and destroys with the same movement, burning, breaking, assembling and disassembling materials and forms. Joy and excitement, but also struggle and violence, trauma and healing explode throughout his oeuvre. Nothing is pure in these brain-like works, where thoughts and emotions intertwine."
"Artist Rashid Johnson, 1st mentor of Reiffers Art Initiatives, on the cover of Numero Art 9" by Thibaut Wychowanok
— NUMÉRO ART
"Over the past decade, Rashid Johnson has developed two new and already iconic series. His Anxious Men, black faces scribbled on canvas, are multiplied on vast formats - following a grid (a matrix that the artist is particularly fond of) taking different colors: red, blue... Because it is not only a question of representing black bodies, but to evoke the anxiety and the interrogations of a whole society, beyond the color of skin. His characters observe you, in number, in community, and become the accusing or inter-rogating witnesses of your own existence as a spectator."