Kevin Claiborne uses memory as his primary material. Through the technique of collage, he offers new ways of looking at the History of the African-American community. His art is both “a social responsibility and a weapon for change”. He explores the afro-american identity, police brutality and his family history by picking fragments from various sources. Kevin Claiborne lives and works in Harlem, and he graduated from the Visual Arts department of Columbia University. He explains “I seek to make the invisible visible”. He thus strives to put the black community back at the forefront of the viewer’s consciousness.
“Fragmentation” evokes fragments of texts and images, but also fragments of History. Sociologically, fragmentation means a lack of connection between social groups. This title truly makes sense as the presented pieces seek to illustrate this cultural rupture in our society, and this breach in the relationships between various groups and communities. Bell Hooks, american author, activist and black feminism theorist wrote in 1988 in Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black “I have had the pain of fragmentation deeply impressed upon my consciousness. The alienation felt by many people who are concerned about domination – the struggle we have even to make of our words a language that can be shared, understood.”