Friday, July 1, 2011

Soul of a city

(originally published 7/1/11 in KnightBlog)

Spending time with Olayame Dabls’ public art is in some ways essential to understanding Detroit’s recent history. In his hands, the rusted, discarded and broken bones of industry cohere into beautiful, monumental forms that address the racism, deindustrialization and abandonment that have wreaked such havoc on the city and its residents. Colored (and somehow safeguarded) by vibrant visions from Africa, the work, which can be found on adjacent plots of land overlooking Interstate 96 on the city’s near west side, expresses difficult truths, but is also a wonder and joy to behold.

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