Gordon Shadrach: Trade
United Contemporary is thrilled to present Trade, a solo exhibition by portrait-artist, Gordon Shadrach. Trade extends the artist’s exploration of Black masculinity and strength, through a new body of work that examines how African Diasporic people were exploited to benefit their oppressors in the American Revolution. This solo exhibition confronts the systems of power that utilizes Black bodies for personal and corporate gain, both historically and in present day.
Through the contrast of historic dress and modern day basketball team jerseys, the portrait artist invites the viewer to enquire into the role of the soldier in battle, and the player in the sports industry. Existing in parallel narratives, the soldier and the player are in positions of personal internal dialogue and external influences which contribute to the individual’s ability to be successful.
Shadrach continues to employ the semiotics of clothing to convey both literal and allegorical messages that brings to light the origin story of the Black Loyalists. Broken promises and unfulfilled contracts underpin 250 years of history, that is rarely acknowledged or spoken of in Canada.