Malik Seneferu, left, From the Hill and Beyond, 2020, 20″ × 24″ right, From the Hill and Beyond, 2014, 42″ × 46″
GearBox Gallery is pleased to welcome Karen Seneferu as a guest curator. As a cultural leader in the Bay Area and beyond, Seneferu promotes work rooting beauty in African esthetics as a means to address the traumatizing experiences that public and private domains often create for the Black body which distort how the individual views the self.
For her project, Seneferu elected to present an exhibition of work by Bay Area artist Malik Seneferu, emphasizing his series of works titled “From the Hill and Beyond,” produced across the span of his career as a Bay Area artist, painter and sculptor.
“In Press Play: Remain Creative, Malik Seneferu taps into his inner child of early art practice, where he was obsessed with creativity. Because he did not have resources to paint or draw on, he used brown paper bags to make his creations. In a Bayview Hunters Point in the 80s where play became the act of violence, Malik in his early 20s strove to unmask the conditions that were shaping his community through large “Raw” canvas narratives. Then, he established museum-like exhibitions inside his mother’s home to create conversation with his neighbors around new ways to live.
As a self-taught artist for over 40 years, he has used his art practice to push back against the War on Drugs that became a War on the Black Community. He established numerous series of work that reflect an enormous imagination, rooted in social justice concerns that challenged the idea that Black men would either be dead, in prison, or drug dealing by the age of 25.
Now, in his 50s, he continues to tap into his inner child, but with the intention to evoke introspection and healing. He uses his paint brush as a weapon of resistance through color, form and design that also suggest that there are ways towards peace if one “remain creative.””
~ Karen Seneferu, Curator
Karen Seneferu is a mixed media artist whose work challenges the idea that beauty exists outside of one’s cultural reality. Her work has been exhibited at the Oakland Museum, The California African American Museum, Yerba Buena Center, Skirball Museum, Tuft’s University Museum, Sonoma Museum of Art, and MOAD. Seneferu is also the founder and Artistic Director of the exhibit The Black Woman Is God, which has changed the artistic and cultural landscape of the country.
Malik Seneferu is an award-winning self-taught master painter, draftsman, muralist, sculptor, illustrator instructor, and painter. His work has traveled internationally and adorned books, magazines, and newspaper covers. From New York’s Schomburg Center and DC’s Smithsonian to London, then Durban, South Africa, and even GOOGLE SF, his work is well known, and he enjoys live painting while sharing his ArtMagnet invention with his viewers.