Isha Shabaka

Born in St. Mary, Jamaica WI. Migrated to America in the 1980's and lived in the borough of Brooklyn New York. Shabaka attended Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, formerly Jamaica School of Art and Crafts, then received his MFA from Pratt Institute in 1984. In 1999, Shabaka produced Units of the Free, a commissioned work for the MTA, and installed at the Park Place subway station in Brooklyn. Shabaka currently lives and  maintain his studio in Ghana, West Africa.

 

Untitled

Acrylic on canvas, 2006

56 x 46 in. (142.24 x  116.84 cm)

 

 

Untitled

Acrylic on canvas, 2006

50 x 55 in. (127 x  139.7 cm)

 

 

 

Untitled

Acrylic on canvas, 2003

45.5  x 31.5 in. (115.57 x 80.01 cm)

 

 

Untitled

Acrylic on canvas, 2006

55 x 43 in. (139.7 x 109.22 cm)

 

 

Untitled

Acrylic on canvas, 2003

45 x 31.5 in. (114.3 x 80 cm)

 

 

Untitled

Acrylic on canvas, 2006

55 x 44.5 in. (139.7 x 113.03 cm)

 

 

Untitled

Acrylic on canvas, 2006

66 x 38 in. (167.64 x 96.52 cm)

 

 

Untitled

Acrylic on canvas, 2006

55 x 24 in. (139.7 x 60.69 cm)

 

 

Untitled

Acrylic on canvas, 2004

66 x 35.5 in. (167.64 x 90.424 cm)

Park Place

ISHA SHABAKA

Units of the Free, 1999

 

Wrought iron railings throughout station

Railings are a functional requirement in the transit environment, but under Isha Shabaka's guiding hand, they are also powerfully expressive. Shabaka designed the railings to highlight the role of the station as an important neighborhood place. The thin and elegant diagonals of the rail create a see-through effect that helps open up the subway to the community. A large-scale image of an African mask is boldly designed in open metalwork. Its nose is a starkly geometric triangle, that symbolizes power and movement in some traditional cultures. Other shapes in the mask are the changeable curving lines, that allow the form to appear to be variously awake or asleep, vigilant or distracted, "commuters," Shakaba says. "Sometimes
they may be aware and thinking when waiting for the train, or just relaxing for a moment. I'm showing both states."

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