The Amazing Black-Man
Solo exhibition by Brooklyn-based artist Kumasi J. Barnett. Riffing on classic superhero series including; The Amazing Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Superman, Daredevil and Captain America, the show features two hundred hand-painted comic book works pinned up in their clear plastic sleeves. For each work, Barnett has painted over the cover of an old Marvel or DC comic book, replacing familiar heroes with characters including “The Amazing Black-Man,” “The Media’s Thug,” “Whitedevil,” and “Police-Man.” Barnett replaces Spider-Man’s full-body leotard with a hoodie and jeans, Superman’s logo with the stars and bars of the Confederate flag, and turns the supernatural villains into—a no less brutal nemesis––the police. Alteration here acts as an intervention. By addressing real world issues through a superhuman genre, Barnett’s work dissolves the disconnect between contemporary American narratives and the reality of “justice,” making us reexamine cultural conceptions surrounding the Good versus Evil paradigm.