Michael Richards: Are You Down? is the first museum retrospective of Michael Richards’s visionary artworks, exhibiting the sculptures, drawings, installations, and video work he created during a prolific decade between 1990 and 2001, before tragically passing away in the September 11 attacks. Flight and aviation were central themes for Richards as an exploration of freedom and escape, ascendance and descent. These themes are especially evident in Richards’s engagement with the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, Greek mythology, Christianity, and African and African American folklore. Centering his own experience, Richards used his body to cast the figures for his sculptures, which often appear as pilots, saints, or both. Inextricably connected to the moment of its making in the 1990s, Richards’s work engaging Blackness, flight, diaspora, spirituality, police brutality, and monuments remains timely and resonant decades after its creation.
Presented by the Bronx Museum, this show is running until January 7th.