Chromophobia – the fear of colour

Within the framework of Black History Month, Metropolis Art Gallery presents ‘ Chromophobia’, an exhibition named after David Batchelor’s book. Within this exhibition, Batchelor’s concept of the ‘chromophobic impulse’ that has riddled Western cultures, rendering them fearful and dismissive of racial dynamics is explored and celebrated through BIPOC artists. 

In an attempt to challenge the mainstream culture and promote a decolonisation of the art world, the exhibition ‘Chromophobia’ displays the work of emerging black artists who use colour with a specific purpose and view it as a form of empowerment. 

Naledi Modupi’s work focuses on the representation of Black people as the joyful, bold and beautiful people, whilst contributing to the shift from the ‘black struggle’ narrative. 

Isha McCulloch’s art is a celebration of her Caribbean identity and the black experience, through an exploration of relationships and family dynamics. 

Zach Murray creates dreamlike scenes in 2D digital collages, scenes, animations and music videos, his inspiration comes from Science-Fiction, Surrealism and Afro-futurism. Nur Pangarker works with oil paint and spray paint and their mediums include paintings and sketches. Echoing a late expressionist style, their art fluctuates between figurative portraiture and abstraction. They express an internal emotional explosion which is juxtaposed by the external emotional inertia. Their aggressive brushstrokes and textural style add to the contradiction between the internal  outburst and melancholic feeling. Kemba Earle’s medium of choice is print, which allows them to use reproduction as a way of showing the popularity of racial inequality. The prints are emotionless, as the artist uses the cold facade of a passport, newspapers and posters. The historical accuracy nevertheless, evokes a deep feeling of unity within the viewers, much like being in a protest. 

This exhibition aims to bring to the surface the ‘chromophobic impulse’ within the art world whilst providing a welcoming space for black artists and artists of colour to show their experiences and stories. 

Zach Murray
Isha McCulloch
Kemba Earle

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