Umar Rashid (Frohawk Two Feathers)

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Artist’s Statement

My name is Umar Rashid. Not too long ago I made art under the alias Frohawk Two Feathers. I create historical fiction (rooted in actual historical fact, if there truly is such a phenomenon) dealing mainly with issues of colonialism, identity, race, gender, and politics. The “Frenglish Empire” (A merger of the colonial era empires of France and England) is the vehicle for my tale. My work has taken me all over the globe, to lowly hovels and great halls. I’ve been working in an episodic fashion for the past 12 years, parceling out the day-to-day of the empire in short, concise bursts, in order to keep the material fresh. I also do a bit of culture clash and time travel within the work, in an effort to engage a broader base. Hip hop, fashion, the streets, and gang culture factor heavily in my oeuvre. And as a self-taught artist, I borrow greatly from varying methods of art-making, from Native American ledger drawings to Romantic era paintings, African and Caribbean folk art, fetishes, and map-making. My current focus is the Western United States, stretching down through all of the vice-royalties of the colonial Spanish Empire (roughly Mexico to the Tierra del Fuego). I diverge from my narrative from time to time only to create content, and context to support it. I will never run out of material within my lifetime.

Umar Rashid was born in 1976 in Chicago, Illinois, and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He earned his BA at Southern Illinois University in 2000. He has had recent solo exhibitions at the Hudson River Museum (Yonkers, NY), the Wellin Museum of Art (Clinton, NY), the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (Summit, NJ), the Nevada Museum of Art (Reno, NV), and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Denver, CO). In Fall 2014, Rashid exhibited as a MATRIX artist at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT. Recent group shows include exhibitions at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (Santa Barbara, CA), the Burlington City Arts (Burlington, VT), and Guerrero Gallery (San Francisco, CA). His work is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Progressive Collection, 21C Museum, the Nevada Museum of Art, and the Wellin Museum of Art, among others. Major publications that have reviewed his work include Art in America, The New Yorker, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the editor of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of eight books and chapbooks, including This Visit (Blazevox, 2015), How to be Another (Cervena Barva Press, 2014), and State of the Union (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2014). Her ninth book, Heisenberg’s Salon, is available now for pre-order from Blazevox. Her poetry has appeared in such places as The Awl, Berkeley Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Cimarron, Gargoyle, The Journal, The New Orleans Review, Prelude, Raritan, Seneca Review, So to Speak, Verse, and Verse Daily.