Harlem One Stop

The Man and the Moon -After race riots in Harlem, William Johnson painted the pain

Art is always expressing things people don’t want to say into megaphones. It gives voice to inner life and ambivalence, and provides an outlet for people feeling pressure to be on the same page as everyone else. (Being “like-minded,” in my experience, is a state to which the best artists are constitutionally averse.)

William Henry Johnson, a celebrated African American artist who was born in Florence, S.C., in 1901, must have been feeling all kinds of pressure in 1943 when he began painting “Moon Over Harlem.” (The painting and a study for it are both owned by the Smithsonian American Art Museum.)

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Source: The Washington Post | July 1, 2020