Press & Media

“Review: Bruce Jr. Does the Parades and Sunrise,” Gambit

Another Hurricane Katrina anniversary came and went, and once again global news organizations struggled to find new angles on an increasingly old story. This time, the BBC memorialized America’s megastorm by posting a video interview with New Orleans artist Dan Tague, whose prints of dollar bills folded into catchy messages like “Live Free or Die,” or, more darkly, “Trust No One,” were an indirect result of Katrina. Tague survived the floodwaters in Mid-City, where he used a pirogue to help stranded neighbors, but later found himself feeling aimless after the forced exodus. With his studio under water, he began folding dollar bills to pass the time. He eventually turned them into prints, which found their way into major museum collections, and the rest is history. The BBC piece is not only a great survivor story, it also provides an interesting angle on the role money plays in American culture.

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“Carnival Craft,” NOLA Defender

Bruce Davenport’s meticulously plotted Bruce Jr. Does the Parades involves ten gloriously large diagrams of revelers and marching bands from an aerial perspective, and seven specifically hung 11×14 details of Mardi Gras. Each framed paper piece is a crisp 60×40 and they are hung in regimented order, like their subjects are arranged in marching band formation. Davenport worked in marker and pen, but the resulting work feels like a reliquary document instead of a teenage notebook. Davenport takes the viewer through the stories of black New Orleanians by narrating the scenes in ballpoint pen.

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“The 6 shows not to miss at White Linen Night 2013,” The Times-Picayune

Bruce Davenport Jr. has taken his passion for New Orleans high school and college marching bands and translated it into a multi-layered personal language. Stand 10 feet from one of Davenport’s drawings and you will be struck by the artists’ command of stark geometric composition. Stand five feet from his drawings and you will be fascinated by his amazingly complicated hieroglyphic interpretation of Crescent City parades. Lean in for a close look and you’ll be able to read his personal and political musings, delivered with rap swagger. The whole effect is fascinating.

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