Rico Gatson, Shirley #3, 2023; Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Print
Rico Gatson is a multimedia visual artist whose practice explores themes of history, identity, popular culture, and spirituality. Over the course of nearly two decades, he has been celebrated for politically layered artworks inspired by significant moments in Black history, such as the Watts Riots, the formation of the Black Panther, and the election of President Barack Obama. Spanning across sculpture, painting, video, and public art, Gatson’s works have been exhibited at esteemed venues both domestically and internationally, and can be found in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; the Denver Art Museum, Denver; the Kempner Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven. In 2019, the artist completed a large commission for MTA Arts and Design, comprising eight large-scale mosaics that are permanently installed in the Bronx.
Shirley #3 celebrates the inspiring life of its titular figure, Shirley Chisholm, who combated racism and sexism to become elected as the first Black woman in Congress, as a representative of New York, in 1968. Born in Brooklyn, she was also the first to seek the nomination from one of the two major political parties during the 1972 presidential election, prior to co-founding the National Congress of Black Women in 1984. Gatson’s work features graphic, linear rays of bold color that emanate from a photograph of Chisholm, in which she holds and speaks into a microphone. The composition places her as a clear focal point in the middle of the pictorial plane, emphasizing the sheer power of a figure who defied the status quo to enact great societal change.
Shirley #3, 2023
Archival pigment print
24 x 36 inches
Limited edition of 20 with 5AP + 1PP
Signed and numbered by the artist
"I am a Brooklyn-based artist, and I’m excited to collaborate with Art For Change and the Prospect Park Alliance to realize this amazing project. Shirley Chisholm is significant for a number of reasons. The opportunity to portray this great representative of New Yorkers, in this way, is a huge honor.”