When the American painter Andrew Lamar Hopkins walks around the French Quarter of New Orleans, he wonders, “What would this block have looked like 200 years ago?” Drawing on his past career as an antiques dealer, as well as his extensive research into Creole life in the antebellum period, Hopkins reconstructs the rich and ornate interiors of that era, and interior lives. “From a small age, I started reading about these free people of color,” he told NPR last January. “I thought, you know, this is something that’s not really taught in schools.” The paintings in this exhibition evoke the many cultures that shaped life in Louisiana, and reflect the theoretical concept of Créolité—an empowered and holisitic term for post-colonial identity, first coined in the 1980s by French-Carribean literary theorists. Hopkins’s “Créolité” inaugurates Venus Over Manhattan’s new gallery space. —C.J.F.
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