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André Ramos-Woodard: BLACK SNAFU
March 7, 2021 - April 3, 2021
BLACK SNAFU, gets its name from “Private Snafu”, a series of cartoon shorts made in the 1940s by Warner Bros. in order to educate American WWII soldiers on the military and their warfare tactics. In BLACK SNAFU, André Ramos-Woodard appropriates various depictions of Black people that are found throughout the cartooning of American history—from the 20th century racist characters in Don Raye’s Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat to more contemporary, uplifting, and pro-Black characters like Huey and Riley Freeman from Aaron McGruder’s The Boondocks. Ramos-Woodard juxtaposes these images with photographs that line up more authentically with a (their) Black experience. These photographs are made by the artist’s hand and come from their camera. By combining these ambivalent visual languages, Ramos-Woodard uses their work to emphasize the repercussions of contemporary and historical discrimination. BLACK SNAFU exposes America’s deplorable connection to anti-Black tropes through pop-culture while simultaneously celebrating the reality of what it means to be Black.
André Ramos-Woodard was raised in the Southern states of Tennessee and Texas. Working with photo-based collage, text, and drawing, they convey ideas of communal and personal identity centralized within internal conflicts. Ramos-Woodard is influenced by their direct experience with life – they are queer and African-American, both of which are targets for discrimination. They use their art to accent communal understanding and disconnect between them and the viewer, specifically those of Black liberation, queer justice, and those in positions of power and privilege that lack the information to critically recognize problems within minority groups in contemporary culture. Ramos-Woodard received their BFA from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, and is an MFA candidate at The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. André uses they//them pronouns.
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