Art provides a powerful expression for resistance both in word and image, and Peter Sacks uses both to great effect in his latest works. Sacks, an expatriate of South Africa is currently presenting his first solo museum exhibition at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University.
“RESISTANCE” is a collection of 88 portraits of individuals who have resisted political, racial or cultural oppression over the past two centuries ranging from Frederick Douglass, Rachel Carson and Nelson Mandela to Emmeline Pankhurst, Sitting Bull and Volodymyr Zelensky.
Sacks, who began as a poet and still teaches at Harvard University produced all the portraits in the past two years, a prolific output for someone who did not pick up a paintbrush until he was 48 years of age.
Drawing from his anti-apartheid activism and multicultural experiences, Sacks creates an inspiring cast of writers, artists, philosophers and activists from around the world, who all resisted oppression in various ways. Each portrait consists of a face embedded in a tactile composition of fabric, paint, personal items and text. The exhibit is immersive; alongside the visuals, there is an audio collage of voices of numerous contemporary literary, social, political and cultural figures.
“Many of these figures have inspired me over a lifetime, in ways at once intimate and public. Many of the portrayed individuals became each other’s powerful guides and sources of courage. I hope they will do the same for viewers and conjure a community among them.”
Peter Sacks: Resistance pays tribute to generations of resisters using the power of art to transmit their legacies to future generations.
This is a collaboration with the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis Museum.
The Rose Art Museum exhibit runs until December 30, 2022 and admission is free.
BIO: Peter Sacks
Peter Sacks is a painter, a poet, and a literature professor at Harvard University.