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David Hammons

Then: Charismatic, Springfield-born conceptual artist/performance artist/visual artist best known for his use of discarded items (liquor bottles, chicken bones) and borrowing from outsider art to create racially-charged works. Once sold snowballs (in the winter) on a street corner in New York City as a performance-art piece. Now: "Become a real beacon, highly esteemed, not just by African-American artists but artists in general, who see somebody with a true personal commitment to art and real depth." (Mary Jane Jacobs, executive director of exhibitions, SAIC) "I have always really felt a deep appreciation of David, the way his work functions not only with a strong aesthetic sensibility but with profound political and even conceptual overtones." (Johnson) "Still on topic and still incredible" (Michael Darling, chief curator, MCA)
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