Satellite Exhibition

Heads or Tails: Portraits of American Presidents

July 9 - October 7, 2018

Heads or Tails Artist Reception: Fri, Sept. 7, 6-8 pm
Linden Row Inn, 100 E. Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23219

1708 Gallery is pleased to present Heads or Tails: Portraits of American Presidents, inspired by the Barack and Michelle Obama portraits, by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald respectively.

Since the debut of the Obama portraits, they have faced the scrutiny of art critics, political pundits, pop culture aficionados and the social media masses. The surrounding dialog from people of all walks of life was unexpected and compelling; bringing a renewed interest to the subject of portraiture, its meaning, purpose, and outcome.

The artists in Heads or Tails: Portraits of American Presidents were invited to create a portrait inspired by any American president. Portraiture often captures more than the subject of the portrait alone. It can encompass the hopes, dreams and folly of the era. The rhetoric of portraiture becomes a secondary theme when our constitutional rights are thwarted by fake news and current events influence the studio practice of every artist and citizen today. Perhaps this exhibition can be considered a portrait of America.

Heads or Tails consists of American stories that address both personal and global themes. Participants in this process cross cultures, generations, and points of origin. Regardless of the artist or their chosen subject, portraiture at its best mirrors both the artist and their subject. Artists create the artifacts that inform and sometimes anticipate the future.

An artist statement is included with the title card for each portrait. Please note these words are those of artist and sometimes curator. They are designed to inform your understanding of each portrait but may spark unexpected connections and dialogue. If you were invited to create a portrait of any American President who would you choose?

Amie Oliver
1708 Gallery Board Member and
Liason and Curator of LRI Satellite Exhibitions

An extension of the Heads or Tails: Portraits of American Presidents is on view at 1708 Gallery, only a twelve minute walk through Richmond’s Art District.