Artist Okeeba Jubalo believes that if art is going to tell the truth, that truth is going to make people uncomfortable.
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Jubalo opened his new exhibition this weekend. It’s called “The Dirty Dozen: Jim Crow Fantasies.” Like the title suggests, it’s comprised of 12 works of heavily layered paint and mixed media, and it takes a direct look at some of the myths and misconceptions that grew out of the Jim Crow South and centuries of slavery before that.
Jubalo’s uncompromising and confrontational work has put him at odds with some of those in Atlanta’s arts community.
“When you tell the truth in any capacity, especially when you’re black,” Jubalo explains, “especially when you’re in this sphere [of fine arts], it’s expected for you not to say certain things.”
The exhibition includes images of Muhammad Ali, Aunt Jemima recast as a white woman, and the American and Confederate battle flags adorned with photographs and names such as those of Emmett Till, Marcus Garvey and Jean Toomer.
“The Dirty Dozen: Jim Crow Fantasies” is on display at the Westside Cultural Arts Center.