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Commentary: Sharyll Burroughs on Robert Colescott


In a video series by the Portland Art Museum, interdisciplinary artists and dialogue facilitator Sharyll Burroughs remarks upon the work of Robert Colescott and discusses how it is an artist’s role to break with tradition. Burroughs notes the satirical nature of Colescott's work. Calling his use of caricatures "taboos," she speaks to how this artist marshals a critique of social expectations placed upon both Black Americans and women as well. With his creations, Colescott pokes absurdist fun at the stereotypes and strictures built by White American patriarchal society.


“Colescott’s taboos offer an opportunity for to examine our feelings, judgements, beliefs, and fears . . . Colescott’s willingness to play with offensive images challenges our limited ways of thinking. Can taboos have values beyond disturbing our sense of what should be?” - Sharyll Burroughs
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