I have been working on a LOT of new work..
but have not been updating the site to share all
the fun i’m having with these experiments.
below are new works from 2017 including Masking-Indians children and New Orleans artists from various media.
these will be added to the timeline and made available in the prints ASAP.
I was honored to be asked to create a portrait of one of my favorite people.
A great friend since 95, please check out my process.
Over a year ago i was about to paint at a Beats and Brushstrokes and couldn’t decide what i wanted to paint. At my studio i had a few abstract paintings that id done at previous B&B events and i had a folder of masks that id been collecting to use in my collages. I envisioned one of the masks on the abstract backgrounds and decided to paint one. So happy with the results… i continued to make paint these masks. Experimenting with juxtaposing the masks with contemporary imagery like bow ties, rope chains, and headphones.
My friend Tavia manages one of my favorite bands and reached out to me about collaborating on a project to collect toys for kids. In reaching out to a few other friends, namely Definition DJ Chris Stylez, and Carly Hammond of High Art nonprofit we saw the opportunity to pool our resources and make a larger more impactful event. Several musicians, some emcees, and a DJ put on an incredible block party outside of the gallery where my Masqued exhibit was opening.
Good times all around and LOTS of donations that were delivered to the Covenant House today. Good times.. for a GREAT cause.
a huge THANK YOU to my boy Malik for taking photos during the event… follow him on instagram @PhrozenPhotography
Last year i was blessed to meet artist Nicolas Ticot through some friends at the New Orleans Arts Council.
Nico is developing a software and artistic style based upon collaboration between artists and art forms that breaths life into spaces that no longer show signs of it.
When we met we discussed collaborating on his 99 angles project. and partnering with some other visual artists and poet Kataalyst Alcindor to play with light, lines and shapes on the exteriors of a few places around New Orleans. The 99 angles website will host the edited video and project specifics…. in the meantime.. here’s a little bit of what i could capture.
UPDATE… NICO has updated the site with OUT OUR COLLAB
After leaving my residency with the Joan Mitchell Center and completing my last show “The Lies We Believe” I’ve moved into a new studio and began trying to establish a bit of a studio practice to focus on a few new ideas. I’m still playing around with the juxtaposition of masks or masked individuals and elements of modernity. The current paintings are loosely.
UPDATED 7/24/17MURAL WAS FINALLY INSTALLED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HELPED MAKE IT POSSIBLE.
I was contacted by Carver High School and asked to come up with a concept for a mural to take place on the side of one of their six current temporary buildings. The plan was then to cut the mural off when they moved to the new campus next year. Those plans were then scrapped because of the whole building cutting scenario.
Then i came up with a concept. I would create a series of small murals that could exist on all six of the current buildings and be easily moved and remounted at the new campus. Each of the small murals would be a different shape and contain a portrait of a different African American civil rights figure and one of the schools six values.
I chose to build each mural our of plywood, and fasten them with hinges so that i could fold them up for easier transport
While talking with the architects building the new campus i became concerned that the wood would begin to warm due to weathering before it was moved to the new building. so graphic renderings of each mural were printed and placed on the buildings as place holders and the actual paintings are being stored until the new school is opened.
i unveiled Carver’s Legacy at Pass It On last month at the Joan Mitchell Center on Bayou Road.
“Frontier of Progress” is the title of an installation i recently completed at 212 Loyola Avenue in the Saratoga building. A friend of mine by the name of Brian Boyles wrote great book entitled New Orleans Boom and Blackout. So great that it received the One Book One New Orleans award sponsored by the Young Leadership Council. He was allotted the resources to do a few events focused on areas covered in his book. Brian reached out asking to collaborate on a pop-up history/art exhibit. The event would also include a DJ who’s mixes juxtapose pieces of our city’s unique musical heritage over time.
After brainstorming IN the space and taking some measurements, I created several digital collages and a short video. Measuring, cutting, and installing the large paper mural took a few evenings before the opening night.
The Images in the work discuss topics from 5 chapters of Brians book that talk about the development of the stretch of land along Loyola Ave. The images discuss the big plans that were made and the big promises that were broken. I poked fun at Mitch Landrieu and Chep Morrison.
The images below are both the digital images and the installed piece.
More info about the project can be found at the link below.
Brian’s book, New Orleans Boom and Blackout can be found at the link below
In November I moved into a new studio space and began exploring several ideas.
An extension of the ideas that led me to my previous show “The Lies We Believe”, im juxtaposing African and other Masks in contrast to NON African artifacts or icons. These two images are process shots and these pieces are still in progress.
Ayo Scott is coming into his own. He was born into New Orleans artistic royalty as the only son of the late MacArthur Fellow John T. Scott whose sculptures dot the city. And while we can see the influence of the elder artist’s aesthetic, Ayo’s voice is distinct, clear, and strong. In this piece, Ayo revisits Michaelangelo’s sisteen chapel through the lens of the twenty-first century urban America. This large scale mixed-media piece uses metaphor to challenge the western tradition’s claim on creation stories. The piece presents a tragic comic blend of irreverence, humor, pain, and yearning, that situates Ayo squarely in the traditions of blues, jazz, and hip hop. He’s one to watch.
Artist Ayo Scott says that he began his series of post-modern digital drawings, now on display at Octavia art gallery, somewhat casually. In a classic post-modern mode, the 34-year-old artist set out to toy with the meaning of some of western art’s best known images, including Grant Wood’s “American Gothic,” Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker,” Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and Michelangelo’s ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
“As it started I was just playing around,” he said, “I wanted to juxtapose some European imagery with African masks.”
But by the end, Scott’s playing around had taken on a cutting edge.
Scott hoped that basing his computer drawings and collages on some of civilization’s most universal images could bridge a gap between the art world and people who don’t much care about the art world.
“I feel like I’m a liaison, to some degree,” he said, “taking art to a different generation or a different demographic. I think there are a lot of people who would appreciate art if it was presented to them in a way that didn’t come off as pretentious and what not.”
In the center of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo depicted God at the moment he animated Adam. In the universally known illustration, their fingers almost touch. Scott began his re-imagining of the scene by placing a carved wooden mask from an African culture over Adam’s face. Placing a boom box on Adam’s shoulder transformed him into a symbol of 1980-style hip hop, Scott said.
Replacing God’s head with television broadcasting the reality series “Love and Hip Hop, Atlanta,” symbolized the way, in Scott’s view, original, socially significant rap culture has devolved into pop superficiality. The figures behind God look like characters from a painting by the sardonic African-American social critic Robert Colescott. The hot rod flames in the center lend a tongue-in-cheek low-art vibe to the proceedings.
Those thin colorful stripes that zip through the otherwise black and white drawing are flying bullets, meant to remind us of the seemingly endless gunplay that plagues New Orleans.
“It’s my way of dealing with the violence of the city without beating you over the head with the violence of the city,” Scott said. “So I wanted them to be kind of suggestive not really literal.”
In other ways, though, his indictment of gun violence is less subtle. Adam, who looks somewhat like a shooting victim, clutches a 45-caliber pistol.
In Scott’s vision, Michelangelo’s awakening of man has become a spark of social consciousness.
The Lies We Believe
Possible ratings: Wow (reserved for drop-dead art experiences such as the 2011 “Music Box/Dithyrambalina” collaborative musical sculpture environment in the Bywater or “Project Be,”Brandan Odums’ 2014 series of graffiti portraits of civil rights activists in the unoccupied Florida Housing development), Worthy(rewarding artwork you’ll discuss on the drive home) and Whatever(viewing not required)
- Rating: Worthy.
- What: Artist Ayo Scott strikes out with a socially critical suite of digital drawings and collages.
- Where: Octavia art gallery, 454 Julia St.
- When: The exhibit continues through Sept 6. Gallery hours are Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- More information: Visit the Octavia gallery website or call 504.309.4249.
Those colorful bullet stripes slice unexpectedly through all of Scott’s post-modern pastiches as if, in New Orleans anyway, the unifying factor is danger. To Crescent City art lovers they may symbolize something in addition to violence. The same sort of colorful rays appeared regularly in Ayo’s father John T. Scott‘s paintings and sculpture.
The elder Scott, who died in 2007, was a longtime Xavier University professor, winner of a MacArthur Genius Award and one of New Orleans’ most renowned modernists. It’s difficult to look at Ayo’s art without searching for dad’s influence.
Ayo, who works as a graphic designer as well as a fine artist, views his dad as a great role model.
“He was just an amazing artist,” Ayo said. “I’m sure I’m biased in saying so, but he was the greatest artist I met, an incredible teacher, just a very giving person. He was always trying to get people to question what they knew of something and offer new information that was one of the things he was into.”
Ayo resists using his father’s lush colors because, he said, they’ll just take over his art. It’s not surprising. As a child, he said, even the hand-made toys his father made for him were coated with layers of bright paint.
John Scott’s work was sometimes topical, but his work was most often abstract. Ayo’s art – at least the work on display at Octavia gallery through Sept. 6 – is much more explicitly political. Those color stripes are the clearest link between the two artists.
In Ayo Scott’s retelling of “American Gothic,” the scene takes place in the post-Katrina ruin of the flooded Lower Ninth Ward. Scott’s version of “Mona Lisa” is smoking cigarettes and waiting for a cell phone call down by the river. In his satire of “The Thinker,” he poses the seated nude atop a commode, contemplating social and racial inequities. A world map spreads out at the statue’s feet. America seems to have disappeared down the drain. A colorful random bullet ricochets off of a hovering heart.