BLACK KIRBY is a collaborative "entity" that is the creative doppelganger of artists / designers John Jennings and Stacey "Blackstar" Robinson. The manifestation of this avatar is an exhibition and catalog1 of primarily visual artworks-on-paper that celebrate the groundbreaking work of legendary comics creator Jack Kirby regarding his contributions to the pop culture landscape and his development of some of the conventions of the comics medium.
BLACK KIRBY also functions as a highly syncretic mythopoetic framework by appropriating Jack Kirby’s bold forms and revolutionary ideas combined with themes centered around AfroFuturism social justice, Black history, media criticism, science fiction, magical realism, and the utilization of Hip Hop culture as a methodology for creating visual expression. This collection of work also focuses on the digital medium and how its inherent affordances offer much more flexibility in the expression of visual communication and what that means in its production and consumption in the public sphere. In a sense, BLACK KIRBY appropriates the gallery as a conceptual "crossroads" to examine identity as a socialized concept and to show the commonalities between Black comics creators and Jewish comics creators and how they both utilize the medium of comics as space of resistance. The duo attempts to re-mediate "Blackness" and other identity contexts as "sublime technologies" that produce experiences that sometime limit human progress and possibility. This paper / presentation will examine some of the themes of this inaugural exhibition of this new artistic team and share the processes involved with the ideation, execution, and installation of the exhibition.