Keith Mayerson and James Glisson in Conversation

An Artist and Curator Talk

As part of, Inside/Outside, an exhibition of recent acquisitions, SBMA is pleased to invite Keith Mayerson for a conversation with James Glisson, Curator of Contemporary Art.

Keith Mayerson has long swum in the sea of mass media that we exist in and reframing them by painting them, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art recently acquired his painting, Someday we’ll find it, the Rainbow Connection, the lovers, the dreamers, and me (2023), thanks to the generosity of Kandy Luria-Budgor, the Luria/Budgor Family Foundation. Whether now-iconic photographs of the Stonewall Riots in the summer of 1969, a view of the Grand Canyon, the crenellated skyline of Manhattan, or the Muppets, Mayerson takes subjects we already know—or think we know—and then personalizes them, filtering them through his choice of color and mark, highlight and shadow. We see them through Keith's eyes and in so doing see them anew.

This idea of rebirth or revisioning is central to his series “My American Dream,” from which a dream of justice and equality, of a pluralistic society, of hope and promise. Mayerson’s paintings are about what American can be in its best moments Keith Mayerson's paintings, drawings, and graphic novels have been shown in dozens of solo exhibitions at such locations as Karma Gallery, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland; and Marlborough Contemporary, New York. Mayerson’s work was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial and the Whitney Museum’s inaugural downtown show, America is Hard to See (2015).

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