Since our inception in 2004, OBM has been committed to developing media that supports the production and presentation of art. We believe art is a powerful form of expression that enriches communities and encourages meaningful dialogue. Our Public Engagement team is dedicated to developing key partnerships with internationally recognized and local artists, as well as museums, art institutions, and curators, to activate art in highly visible areas. Represented by #OBMarts, these collaborative efforts and ongoing investments expand the reach of art in public spaces to broader and more diverse audiences, delivering on our mission to improve lives in cities through our media platform.
Walls for a Cause NYC, a multi-site public art exhibition and philanthropic initiative, launched in the late fall of 2020. Curated by Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels of gallery We Buy Gold and Diana Nawi for Orange Barrel Media, the project presents commissioned paintings from nine contemporary artists in the form of large-scale murals on prominent OBM wallscapes throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan. Participating artists include Felipe Baeza, María Berrío, Theresa Chromati, Ariel Dannielle, Chioma Ebinama, Marcus Jahmal, Christopher Myers, Naudline Pierre, and Ilana Savdie. Murals were display for residents and visitors throughout 2021 in rotation with commercial messaging. The original paintings were featured in an online exhibition called On the Other Side of Something by We Buy Gold from January 21 – March 24, 2021. A percentage of the sale of each piece was donated to support NYC nonprofit Project EATS, a neighborhood-based initiative that uses art, urban agriculture, partnerships, and social enterprise to sustainably produce and equitably distribute essential resources within and between our communities.
Photo Credit: Paul Takeuchi
Naudline Pierre creates works that explore a mysterious alternate universe populated by characters that often interact with each other in tender ways. She employs imagery from art historical references while building her personal mythology, depicting spiritual tableaus and portraits in an imaginary, fantasy world. Situated at the middle of the painting Too Much, Not Enough is an embodied, mauve-hued woman-seemingly an avatar for the artist herself-surrounded by angelic Black figures whose textured wings and radiating crown-like halos encircle her. The dense purple flesh of the central figure is contrasted against the more loosely rendered seraphic beings, the terrestrial situated among the ethereal. The resulting image is one of divine Black femmehood, conjuring the protective possibilities of the celestial and otherworldly in the day-to-day.
María Berrío is best known for her intricate representational works that imbue scenes, both quotidian and extraordinary, with a labor-intensive, textile-like surface. Collaging together small pieces of colored Japanese and hand-painted paper, the artist creates painterly but iconographic works. Her subject matter ranges, drawing from the folkloric and mythological to the biographical, and the resulting images suggest narrative tableaus of commune, refuge, and harmony between nature and people, as well as quiet scenes of danger drawn from our contemporary context. Her contribution to this project is an image of a citrus tree, its brightly colored leaves and fruits a multifaceted refraction of light. The unpopulated but inviting landscape offers us, the viewer, a lush place in the shade to rest a moment.
Photo Credit: Ariel Danielle
This work, a self portrait of the artist, pictures her in a large, open bathroom; it is an image of the self that is both powerful and informal, focusing on the pleasures of domestic ritual. At the fore, she lies across a divan filing her nails and looking directly out at the viewer-her pose is relaxed but her gaze is focused. The background of the image reveals many details, from personal and familiar objects such as underwear strewn about and a lush houseplant to the striking inclusion of a version of one of the artist's earlier paintings. This staged, frontal scene is punctuated by the discreet presence of a leg stepping into the overfilled and overflowing bathtub behind her, revealing the comfortable intimacies of daily life.
Photo Credit: Chioma Ebinama
Chioma Ebinama typically works in watercolor and ink, lending her talismanic images a sometimes ghostly, ephemeral quality. Drawing from her body of work Now I only believe in...love, Ebinama has brought together four works that suggest both familiar life and otherworldliness. Portrait of my beloved as an orchid shows isolated delicately rendered flowers, a kind of stylized botanical study of which the true subject is love. This emphasis on the natural world and the tenderness of our relationships is reflected in the surreal and layered flora that encircle the intertwined lovers of the last image. Their embrace, like the supportive, encompassing grasp of friends, family, or perhaps even strangers that we see in Hugging Party, suggest the necessary magic of the intimacies that sustains us.
Photo Credit: Adam Reich
Theresa Chromati's narrative figurative imagery is obscured and distorted through a lens of abstraction. Employing dynamic lines, bold patterns, and radiating colors her characters weave through amorphous settings on a truth seeking inner journey. The works often hold space for sustained observation to make out the women and objects that populate them as they seem to merge with their surroundings, fragmenting and coalescing across the canvas. Chromati's new painting features a contorted body at its center with extending limbs and extremities breaking up the surface of the work while reaching for a scrotum flower, the artist's motif for balance. The figure's face is an expressive, swirling storm of emotion and blue glitter, seeming to transform before our eyes and, as in much of the artist's work, suggesting the ever shifting terms of self and identity.
Photo Credit: Brad Farwell
Felipe Baeza has a background in printmaking, and his attention to materiality, texture, layering, and surface is evident in his paintings and drawings. His ongoing investigations deal with bodies in flux as they transform, dematerialize, and fuse with the natural world and one another. These bodies are often traveling through interstitial spaces in search of a new landscape where they where they are free from regulation and oppression. Unruly Suspension exemplifies this impulse as a body seems to hang or float in midair, overtaken, or perhaps merging with, an ambiguous purple form. Thread has been patterned across this shape and hangs down the surface of the work, adding to the sensation that the body is defying gravity and reaching beyond itself.
Photo Credit: John Dennis
Ilana Savdie's work deals with themes around invasion, control, defiance, and the ways in which power is propelled and mediated through bodies. A particular focus is placed on the carnivalesque themes of defiance through the inversion of social norms and the exaggerated body as a form of mockery and protest. Entrañadas is part of a larger series of works that feature aspects of the Marimoda, a fantastical, brightly costumed figure who appears in the Carnaval de Barranquilla-the Colombian city where Savdie was raised-and who emerged as a means to ridicule the elite. These paintings reflect and embellish aspects of this folkloric tradition, exploring both its aesthetic, and more significantly, its political and social histories of subversion. The central figure of Sadie's painting is surreal and grotesque, but even atop an abstracted ground, it is visceral and familiar-it is an unbound body; a body in flux, pain, revolt, and transformation.
Photo Credit: Dan Bradica
Marcus Jamal's paintings are grounded in the observed and imagined moments of daily life-they feature subjects and details drawn from the familiar and inscribed with an expressive surreality that takes its inspiration from a range of visual lineages.
The artist's new work features a shirtless man seated in a gold chair crossing his arms over his chest, his fists tightly closed; it is a protective and powerful gesture, at once drawing himself inward and shielding his body. The quick and open brushstrokes that comprise the background and the man's jeans are in contrast to the clear, graphic style in which his face and striking red hat are depicted. With his eyes focused outside the frame of the image, Jahmal's subject seems to reside in an interior world beyond us.
Christopher Myers works between mediums and forms creating encompassing and boldly iconographic images that often focus on the figure. Exploring the figure as both an embodied self and mythological being, his works suggest the larger narratives of history and the spiritual. My Body is a Burning House is a collage that depicts the image its title describes- Black man's torso transformed into a grid of windows engulfed in flames. His lower body is composed of images of wreckage that implies the destruction we are witnessing, but the graceful pose of his hand and seemingly still face suggests that this is not a momentary catastrophe but the kind of acute terror that burdens the everyday.
Photo by: Rene Fragoso
Baeza is a painter and printmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. His recent solo exhibitions include Through the Flesh to Elsewhere at the Mistake Room, Los Angeles; La Emergencia de Hacer Memoria at Fortnight Institute, New York; and Felipe Baeza at Maureen Paley, London.
His work has been featured in group exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, San Francisco Art Institute, and The Mexican Cultural Institute, Washington, D.C. His work will be included in the fifth iteration of Prospect New Orleans, Yesterday we said tomorrow, in the fall of 2021. He received a MFA from Yale University and a BFA from The Cooper Union, New York.Initiatives involved in:
Born 1982, Bogotá, Colombia Lives and works in New York, NY
Maria Berrio’s large collaged works—comprised of diversely sourced papers, depict surrealist narratives that blur biographical memory with South American mythology. Her work explores themes such as intercultural connectivity, migration and humankind’s relationship to nature. Maria Berrio received her BFA at Parsons School of Design and MFA at the School for Visual Arts. Maria’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Whitney Musuem of American Art in New York, The Nasher Museum in North Carolina, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas and the Ford Foundation in New York. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, participating in exhibitions at El Museo del Barrio in New York and The Nasher Museum in North Carolina, among others. Most recently, Berrio’s work was included in Prospect 4 Triennial in New Orleans and this year her permanent public art will be installed in a New York City subway station, commissioned by the MTA Arts and Design program.Initiatives involved in:
Photo by: Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.
Chromati has garnered critical and institutional attention for figurative paintings that are shaped by fragmented forms of desire and constant motion. Bursts of complex color, sensual protrusions, and texture deploy abstraction to explore various contemporary realities of black woman. These bodies are at once imaginative, bordering on grotesque, and celebratory as they convey a variety of emotional and spiritual states of being. Chromati was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, attended the Pratt Institute, and is now based in New York City. Recently, her work was on view at The Baltimore Museum of Art, Pérez Art Museum Miami, and The Moscow Museum of Modern Art, and The Delaware Contemporary. She has been featured in The New York Times, i-D, Interview Magazine, Juxtapoz, Architectural Digest, and Vogue.Initiatives involved in:
Photo by: Dierra Font
Dannielle’s work has been exhibited at the California African American Museum, Los Angeles; The Goat Farm Arts Center, Atlanta; Dalton Gallery, Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Georgia; Trio Contemporary Art Gallery, Athens, Georgia; and Pérez Art Museum Miami. She was a MOCA GA Working Artist Project fellow in 2018–19, and her solo exhibition, It Started So Simple, recently opened at MOCA GA.Initiatives involved in:
Photo by: Sasha Arutyunova
Ebinama has had recent exhibitions at Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, New York; Fortnight Institute, New York; Boys’ Quarters Project Space, Port Harcourt, Nigeria; and The Breeder, Athens, Greece. Her work has been included in group shows at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York; Dak’Art Biennial Off-Site, Dakar, Senegal; 303 Gallery, New York; and La Salita, New York. She is currently illustrating a children’s book written by Kevin Young. Ebinama received her BFA from Boston College and her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York.Initiatives involved in:
Photo by: Charlie Rubin
Jahmal’s recent solo exhibitions include Double Down at Almine Rech, New York; GUMBO at CAC Passerelle Brest, France; and Solid Ghosts at Almine Rech, Brussels, as well as shows at Canada Gallery and FiveMyles in New York. He has been included in group exhibitions at the Drawing Center, New York; UTA Artist Space, Los Angeles; and The Journal, New York, among others.Initiatives involved in:
Photo by: Kamal Nassif
Christopher Myers’s recent solo exhibitions include Drapetomania at Fort Gansevoort, Los Angeles; The Red Plague Rid You for Learning Me Your Language at Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Massachusetts; Nobody Is My Name, The Mistake Room, Los Angeles; and Let the Mermaids Flirt with Me at Fort Gansevoort, New York. Alongside his work as a visual artist, Myers is an award-winning children’s book illustrator and heads an imprint at Random House.Initiatives involved in:
Photo by: Myles Loftin
Naudline Pierre’s work has been included in exhibitions at the The Armory Show, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Nicodim Gallery, Bucharest; Perrotin, Seoul; Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles; and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London among others. Pierre’s works are in the permanent collection of Pérez Art Museum Miami; CC Foundation, Shanghai; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Dallas Museum of Art; The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; and The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City. Pierre was a 2019–2020 artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, and an exhibition featuring the work of the resident artists, This Longing Vessel, recently opened at MoMA PS1, Queens, New York. In the fall of 2021 her work will be included in the fifth iteration of Prospect New Orleans, Yesterday we said tomorrow, and she will have a solo exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art. Pierre holds an MFA from the New York Academy of Art and a BFA from Andrews University.Initiatives involved in:
Photo by: John Dennis
Ilana Savdie has had solo exhibitions at Deli Gallery, New York; ltd Los Angeles; and Stream Gallery, New York, and has been included in group shows at Golestani Gallery, Dusseldorf, Germany; Museum aan de Stroom (MAS), Antwerp, Belgium; and Casstle, Antwerp, Belgium among others. Savdie is currently an artist in residence at NXTHVN in New Haven, Connecticut.Initiatives involved in:
Launched in advance of the 2020 election, “Art for Action” was an artist-driven non-partisan voter awareness campaign developed to counteract voter suppression, encourage engagement, and drive action through the deployment of dynamic public art and voter resources. It was the largest and most geographically diverse effort of its kind. Curated by the Wexner Center for the Arts and Diana Nawi, the campaign featured the works of seven local and four national artists, including Carrie Mae Weems, Jeffrey Gibson, Jenny Holzer, and Tomashi Jackson. The art component worked synergistically with OBM’s “You Can Vote” ads to enable action through resource links, customized digital tickers counting down to key state-specific deadlines, and proprietary software that allowed IKE kiosk users to register to vote and request an absentee ballot via QR code handoffs. The campaign ran on a network of digital billboards and kiosks in 16 cities nationwide, including key battleground states Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Georgia.
Carrie Mae Weems
Jenny Holzer is an American Conceptual artist best known for her text-based public art projects. Exploring how language is used both as a form of communication and as a means of concealment and control, Holzer has employed a variety of media throughout her career, including large-scale projections, LED displays, T-shirts, and posters. “I used language because I wanted to offer content that people—not necessarily art people—could understand,” she explained. Born on July 29, 1950 in Gallipolis, OH, Holzer received her BFA from Ohio University in 1972 and her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1975. Her popular series Truisms began in 1977, when she started pasting ambiguous quotes such as “ABUSE OF POWER COMES AS NO SURPRISE” and “PROTECT ME FROM WHAT I WANT” throughout New York, while enrolled in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.
The artist’s works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, among others. in 1990 Holzer was the first woman to represent the United States in the Venice Biennale She currently lives and works in Hoosick Falls, NY.
Considered one of the most influential contemporary American artists, Carrie Mae Weems has investigated family relationships, cultural identity, sexism, class, political systems, and the consequences of power. Determined as ever to enter the picture—both literally and metaphorically—Weems has sustained an on-going dialogue within contemporary discourse for over thirty years. During this time, Carrie Mae Weems has developed a complex body of art employing photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation, and video. In a New York Times review of her retrospective, Holland Cotter wrote, “Ms. Weems is what she has always been, a superb image maker and a moral force, focused and irrepressible. “Weems has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at major national and international museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Frist Center for Visual Art, Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in Seville, Spain.
Weems has received numerous awards, grants, and fellowships, including the prestigious Prixde Roma, The National Endowment of the Arts, The Alpert, The Anonymous was a Woman, and The Tiffany Awards. In 2012, Weems was presented with one of the first US Department of State’s Medals of Arts in recognition for her commitment to the State Department’s Art in Embassies program. In 2013 Weems received the MacArthur “Genius” grant as well as the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She has also received the BET Honors Visual Artist award, the Lucie Award for Fine Art photography, was one of four artists honored at the Guggenheim’s 2014 International Gala, a recipient of the ICP Spotlights Award from the International Center of Photography, The WEB Dubois Award from Harvard University, as well as Honorary Degrees from: California College of the Arts, Colgate University, Bowdoin College, the School of Visual Arts and Syracuse University. She is represented in public and private collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and The Tate Modern, London. Weems has been represented by Jack Shainman Gallery since 2008, and is currently Artist in Residence at the Park Avenue Armory. She lives in Syracuse, New York, with her husband Jeffrey Hoone who is Executive Director of Light Work.
Jeffrey Gibson is a multidisciplinary artist and craftsperson merging traditional Native American materials and forms with those of Western contemporary art to create a new hybrid visual vocabulary. Gibson, a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and of Cherokee descent, is forging a multifarious practice that redresses the exclusion and erasure of indigenous art traditions from the history of Western art as it explores the complexity and fluidity of identity.Initiatives involved in:
Tomashi Jackson was born in Houston, Texas in 1980 and grew up in Los Angeles, California. She was included in the Whitney Biennial 2019, and her first solo museum exhibition, Interstate Love Song, took place at the Zuckerman Museum of Art in Kennesaw, Georgia in 2018. Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at MoCA Los Angeles, MASS MoCA, and the Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans. Jackson was a 2019 Resident Artist at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. She will have a solo exhibition at the Parrish Art Museum during the summer of 2020. Her work is included in the collection of MOCA Los Angeles. She has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston; and Cooper Union, NY, and she has been a visiting artist at New York University. Jackson lives and works in Cambridge, Massachusetts and New York City.Initiatives involved in:
MCA Denver and internationally recognized artist Nari Ward partnered with OBM on an ambitious public art project to extend a retrospective exhibition of Ward’s work entitled We the People beyond museum walls. The artist’s famous wall-drawings, which he creates by drilling shoelaces into architectural walls to form images and texts, appeared as digital content on 38 large-scale displays and kiosks throughout Downtown Denver. As a companion project to the retrospective, Ward debuted a major new work entitled LAZARUS Beacon (2020) – a powerful site-specific digital content that champions equal access to art and urges closer inspection of American history. The dynamic multi-story video projection was unveiled on the Daniels and Fisher Clocktower, a highly visible 325’ tall structure located in the heart of the City. The projection was on display several nights per week from July through September 2020.
Nari Ward (b. 1963, Saint Andrew, Jamaica; lives and works in New York) received a BA from City University of New York, Hunter College in 1989, and an MFA from City University of New York, Brooklyn College in 1992. His work has been the subject of two major retrospectives: Sun Splashed, which originated at Pérez Art Museum Miami and travelled to the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, and the ICA Boston; and We the People, which was organized by the New Museum in New York and traveled to the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver. He has had additional solo exhibitions at Socrates Sculpture Park, New York; Savannah College of Art and Design Museum, Georgia; Louisiana State University Museum of Art, Baton Rouge; The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams; Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.
Ward has participated in group exhibitions around the world. Ward’s work is in museum collections through the United States, as well as Italy, Turkey, and Australia, and he has received numerous honors and distinctions including the Fellowship Award, The United States Artists, Chicago; Vilcek Prize in Fine Arts, Vil cek Foundation, New York; Joyce Award, The Joyce Foundation, Chicago; Rome Prize, American Academy of Rome, as well as awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Pollock – Krasner Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
For Freedoms is an artist-led organization that harnesses the power of art to encourage civic engagement, public discourse, and direct action. Over the past two years, we have used our media platform to support various For Freedoms initiatives, including our recent participation in their 2020 Awakening campaign. Created to drive greater participation in American democracy and timed to coincide with the November elections, 2020 Awakening featured more than 100 billboards by over 85 artists in all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands