Born in Alabama, Kerry James Marshell grew up in Los Angeles, and currently lives in Chicago. The African-American artist has been influenced by 'Black Power' and Civil Rights movements. He last presented in London in 200 at the Camden Arts Centre and has now returned with his exhibition, Look See at the David Zwirner Gallery, which can be seen until the 22nd November.
The exhibit focusses on the etymological difference between looking and seeing. Looking is merely a surface view, detached and objective, where as seeing is when you consider the subtext below the surface of the painting, and creating connections.
The concept of looking and seeing is both explored in terms of visitors considering the paintings and the paintings themselves. For example, the 'Ink blob' style, Blot is an abstract mirror pattern that has no concrete meaning, but images will be seen by individual viewers. In contrast, Mirror Girl depicts a woman observing her body in the mirror and Beach Girl suggests someone is posing for a photo shoot. My personal favourites are when the subjects in the painting are looking straight towards you, as if you are suddenly the one on display rather than them.