Tribute To George Floyd by Ashley Doggett

Art of the Week

David Lusk Gallery is now hosting “HEED,” a new exhibition of four artists whose work is focused on the major challenges faced by our entire planet and everyone on it. The show will run through the month of August and exist primarily online, though there will be some work on display in its Nashville and Memphis locations. The gallery will also be making extra effort to provide context around the show and to fight some of the challenges that its participants highlight.

“Through social media, DLG will dedicate a week to each artist, using their platform to tell the story of their intention, background, trajectory and process,” the gallery wrote in a statement. “During August, DLG will donate 25 percent of sales from this exhibition to an organization of the artist’s choosing.”

Participating artists include Maysey Craddock, Leslie Holt, Rob Matthews and Ashley Doggett. Each creative brings their own style and subject matter to the fore, with each processing and presenting some of the most fundamental challenges we face in their own ways. For Doggett, that meant honoring a figure whose untimely death at the hands of police officers has ignited a wave of protests, reflections and demands for substantive change in systemic racism.

Her Tribute To George Floyd, rendered in purples and blues and illuminated by a saintly red halo, speaks to the martyrdom of his death, caused during an arrest where a white officer knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes. The tribute is a powerful example of the content and approach that Doggett is most known for.

“In direct conversation with contemporary art practices, Ashley Doggett explores themes of religion, race, gender and dissociation by citation of historical narratives,” David Lusk Gallery shared. “Her focus is America’s tragic legacy of white supremacy, slavery and the trauma that is often revised or erased by dominant historical narratives.”

By presenting a portrait of Floyd that casts him in a spiritual light, she is amplifying the empathetic interpretation of his death (and the larger struggle for equal treatment under the justice system) as well as recasting any lesser portrayals of him. Again, this presentation of the now iconic Floyd is emblematic of her larger mission as an artist.

“In her paintings, drawings and woodcuts that are primarily figurative works, she re-contextualizes racial stereotypes in an act of aesthetic protest,” per David Lusk Gallery. “Her reclaiming of these icons encourages reconsideration and engagement with these historic, yet systemic and recurring issues.”

Doggett holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Nashville’s Watkins College of Art. Her work has been exhibited throughout the country.

The David Lusk Gallery’s Nashville location is located at 516 Hagan Street in We-Ho.

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